Sports Contact: J.T. Wilcox, Sports Information Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2019
HIALEAH, FL – Trailing 74-73 with five seconds left and staring a third straight conference loss in the eyes, ASA Miami had one last possession to change their fortunes.
The ball found redshirt sophomore Matt Maturah behind the three-point line, draped by a defender, Maturah took a couple of dribbles, pivoted and threw up a desperation heave as the buzzer sounded. The ball found one of the backboard's sweet spots and splashed through the net, sending the Silver Storm bench into a frenzied celebration of its 76-74 win over visiting Southern Conference (SOCON) foe Indian River State College Saturday at The Dent.
Tied at 70 with just under five minutes to play, freshman guard Sebastian Jean put the Silver Storm up 73-70 at the 4-minute mark with an old fashioned three-point play. Indian River State scored a pair of baskets over the next three minutes – taking a 74-73 lead with 25 seconds left on a Kahleel Ellis-Garcia drive to the basket.
Trailing by one, Silver Storm head coach Jean Dubuisson called a timeout to draw up a final play for the final possession. While Dubuisson's initial play was disrupted when the Pioneers knocked a pass out of bounds, the impromptu action that led to the ball being in Maturah's hands ended up being the game-winning call.
Maturah, the team's leader in three-point percentage (40.5 percent) this season, said he wasn't going for a bank-shot when he shot the turnaround jumper.
"It felt good when it left my hands…I wasn't aiming for the backboard, but it definitely felt good when it left my hands," Maturah said.
It felt even better once the shot went down and ASA Miami (6-18) had earned its second conference win of the season. Having lost the previous two SOCON games, toppling the Pioneers Saturday incentivizes the Silver Storm's final five conference games – keeping their hopes of state tournament berth alive.
While Maturah played the role of hero, he was just one of five ASA players that finished with double-digit point totals Saturday. Freshman Marko Jovanovic poured in a game-high 22 points (shooting 53 percent from the field). Freshman guard Gabe Casey provided a big spark off the bench, knocking down 3-of-5 shots from behind the arc to finish with 14 points; Jean finished with 13 points and nine rebounds and freshman center Malik Brikat added 12 points.
Maturah's late-game heroics became a necessity when the Silver Storm's 10-point halftime lead – which grew to a 13-point margin early in the second half – evaporated by the midway point of the second half. Indian River which had defeated ASA Miami by 19 points two-and-a-half weeks ago, took slim leads at different times in the second half – holding 57-56 and 70-68 leads before the 74-73 lead in the final seconds – thanks to hot shooting from Jai Clark.
Up Next: ASA Miami will once again be in a "must-win" situation when it travels to play Palm Beach State College this coming Wednesday (Feb. 6).