Darrell Arthur laughed hard when asked if he felt like a "hero" after Kansas University's 76-72 overtime victory over Arizona on Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse.
"No : but Brandon would have been a hero if that shot would have gone in," Arthur, Kansas University's sophomore forward, said after a game that nearly was decided on a 55-foot desperation heave by Brandon Rush that barely missed at the end of regulation.
While Arthur didn't think he did enough to unseat Rush as unofficial star of the game, his performance definitely proved pivotal in keeping KU unbeaten at 5-0.
His 12-footer from the corner off a pass from Mario Chalmers busted a 65-all tie with 3:30 left in overtime. His putback of a Chalmers miss made it 69-65 at 2:51.
Rush followed with four straight points, and KU had control in the extra session.
"This has been my best game," Arthur said. "I thought I played pretty well down low, but I missed some bunnies down there and had a couple of turnovers.
"Coach emphasized getting the ball in the paint more," Arthur added on a night he made eight of 13 shots and four of six free throws. He did suffer five turnovers.
"I feel good about the way we responded tonight (after squandering early 20-9 lead). We had the game under control, but we let them loose. They came back and made some nice plays. Chase (Budinger, 27 points, 10-of-23 shooting, six of 12 3s) got hot. He was a beast. Bayless got hot.
"I thought we did a good job on offense and defense in overtime. I thought we controlled the game in overtime," Arthur added of the five-minute session won by KU, 14-10.
How did KU grasp the game in OT?
"We turned it up defensively," Arthur said. "We were more intense and talking more. We were hungry, and I think we wanted it more. They responded, but we wanted it more."