James Madison’s stunning start to the 2023–24 NCAA basketball season continued on Thursday night against Kent State, when they turned what looked like a sure defeat into a miraculous comeback victory.
Just a few days after stunning No. 4 Michigan State in their season opener, the Dukes trailed the Golden Flashes 89–84 with just 3.8 seconds left in the game.
Despite a significant deficit and minimal time to work with, JMU’s Noah Freidel was able to knock down a contested three to cut the Kent State lead to two points.
On the ensuing inbounds pass, referees called an offensive foul against Kent State’s Mike Bekelja after he appeared to push off on Xavier Brown, who fell to the floor and was awarded the call.
With the Dukes regaining possession of the ball, they devised an inbounds pass to Freidel that saw him get wide open under the basket for a layup, tying things up at 89 and sending the game to overtime.
Here’s the whole late game sequence in which JMU erased a five-point deficit in 3.8 seconds.
Incredible stuff. pic.twitter.com/6iweCxAZwF
— Brian Rauf (@brauf33) November 10, 2023
JMU would go on to win in double overtime, 113–108, improving to 2–0 on the season after a bizarre finish to regulation on Thursday night.
It’s hard to imagine a more enthralling start to a season than the one the Dukes just went through, having taken down one of the nation’s top teams on the road on Monday, before astoundingly erasing a five-point deficit in less than four seconds during Thursday’s win.