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Thursday, December 23, 1993

Vaughn vanquishes Knight

Buzzer beater gives Kansas 86-83 win over Indiana in OT

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The movie "Hoosiers" didn't end this way.

Not with Indiana's basketball team falling to Kansas, 86-83, in overtime on a dramatic three-point buzzer-beater by freshman Jacque Vaughn.

Kansas wrote its own script Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks hit six of six shots in overtime, including three-pointers from Steve Woodberry, Sean Pearson and Vaughn, whose game-winning 20-footer fell through with 0.2 ticks left.

"That was the best feeling I've ever had, a feeling of joy and relief that we cam out with a victory," said Vaughn, who had 13 points and five assists in 33 minutes.

He sprinted around the court after dribbling out front, pump faking Todd Leary and drilling the trey. He composed himself in time for IU's desperation inbounds pass, which was broken up at midcourt as the buzzer sounded.

"I wanted to get the ball to Steve (Woodberry) and let all the burden be on his shoulders," Vaughn said. Woodberry had seven of his 13 points in OT. "I couldn't find him. I saw 4.2 seconds left. What else could I do? I dribbled, gave Leary a pump fake and let go of the ball.

"I felt like I had a good release. It all happened so fast. It'll take time for it to sink in."

The bucket took the spotlight away from IU senior guard Damon Bailey, who scored 36 points, hitting 15 of 17 free throws and nine of 20 shots.

"I told coach (Bob) Knight and I told Damon I almost wished it hadn't ended that way," KU coach Roy Williams said. "I don't want to take anything away from Jacque. Sometimes special people are put in places to make special things happen and that young man did.

"It's a moment he'll remember the rest of his life. But that was a shot and a prayer. His prayer was answered. I'd rather throw it inside, some guy lay it up after 27 screens," Williams added, grinning.

The Jayhawks executed their offense to perfection in overtime. Woodberry hit a 15-footer and a three to open the extra session and give the Jayhawks a 75-74 lead at 3:18.

"It was almost like we were treading water waiting until Steve came riding to the rescue," Williams said.

KU trailed 78-76 after Pat Graham hit two free throws at 2:10, Sean Pearson rolling in a 14-footer to tie the score at 1:55. Bailey hit a long two-pointer at 1:41, giving IU the advantage.

Pearson then stepped up and hit a three-pointer past the top of the key, giving KU an 81-80 lead at 1:22.

"Sean Pearson's shot was just as big as Jacque's, except it wasn't the game winner," Williams said.

Bailey missed a shot and Richard Scott, who had 23 points and 10 rebounds, grabbed the carom. Woodberry canned a jumper from the side at :30, putting KU up 83-80.

Bailey, however, swished another three at :18, setting up KU's final possession. Vaughn's bucket capped a "set play" involving Woodberry that didn't work.

"Jacque didn't see Steve cut in the other direction and stepped up and made the play," Williams said. "We executed well at the end."

The end of regulation was a bit sloppy, however. Greg Ostertag missed an ill-advised three-pointer at 1:29, with KU leading, 70-68. Woodberry, who moments earlier took a charge from Graham, had a jumper blocked by Graham at :33. IU tied it at 70 on two Bailer free throws at :25 to forge a tie. Patrick Richey was called for traveling with 3.9 ticks left, but Bailey missed a desperation heave at the buzzer.

Next up for KU is the Golden Harvest Classic next Wednesday at KC's Kemper Arena. The Jayhawks will meet Rhode Island at 8:30 p.m.

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