FAIRFIELD -- Even the most seasoned professional can sometimes forget the No. 1 rule about dealing with pressure.
But not Jordan Foster.
When the Kolbe Cathedral sophomore caught a pass from Jordan Tompkins under the Notre Dame of Fairfield basket with his team down one and the buzzer about to sound Friday, Foster didn't overthink.
"I was not aware of how much time was left," Jordan said. "I just went on instinct."
Foster calmly laid in the buzzer-beater that gave the Cougars a thrilling 68-67 victory at Sacred Heart University's Pitt Center, and ended Notre Dame's 13-game winning streak.
"Foster certainly saved the day for us," Kolbe coach Chris Smith said.
Kolbe Cathedral (13-6, 10-3 SWC) led by five with three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter before Notre Dame (15-4, 13-1) rallied behind Jalen Jennings and Jesse McIntosh to take a 65-64 lead with 1:45 left. After Maurice Hill's drive gave Kolbe Cathedral the lead, the Lancers looked to hold it for one last shot.
But with 10 seconds left, Kolbe Cathedral's Ian Gardener (23 points, nine rebounds) fouled Drez Lee 20 feet from the basket. It sent one of ND's best free-throw shooters to the line, and was Gardener's fifth foul, meaning his night was over.
When Lee made both free throws, the Lancers led by one and Kolbe Cathedral had no timeouts left. Tompkins raced upcourt as two ND defenders collided near midcourt. At that point Tompkins ran into the left corner and saw Foster open under the basket.
"On that last play we got jumbled up," Lancers coach Vin Laczkoski said. "Our guys ran into each other. We're a young team and young kids make mistakes."
Notre Dame played three sophomores most of the night, and just one senior -- Jennings, who led ND with 20 points and 10 rebounds. But Foster was also a sophomore, and he handled the big moment with ease.
"I saw (Lee's second free throw) go in and I knew it was crunch time," Foster said. "We had to push it up the floor and make magic happen. You've got to calm yourself in that situation, so when (Tompkins) got me the ball I just did what came naturally."
Kolbe Cathedral, which defeated Notre Dame 75-74 on Dec. 23, led 58-49 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter before the Lancers rallied. McIntosh added 16 points for ND, 12 in the final period.
"Notre Dame is a gritty team that finds a way to come back," Kolbe Cathedral coach Chris Smith said. "I don't know how we did it but somehow we beat them twice." Read Full Article
Notre Dame might get another shot at the Cougars in the league playoffs, but it was too soon for Laczkoski to consider that.
"We deserved to lose tonight," he said. "But when you win as many close games as we have, we were due."
Tyler Underwood had 15 points and Marvins Francois had 10 for the Cougars.
KOLBE CATHEDRAL (13-6, 10-3 SWC)
Maurice Hill 2 4-7 9 Shane Burwell 1 1-3 3 Tyler Underwood 5 0-0 13 Jordan Tompkins 2 0-1 4 Jordan Foster 2 0-2 4 Marvins Francois 5 0-0 10 Ian Gardener 9 4-5 23 Chetano Leslie 1 0-0 2. Totals: 27 9-18 68.
ND-FAIRFIELD (15-4, 13-1)
Jesse McIntosh 5 2-3 16 Jake Heaton 1 2-4 4 Jordan Pettway 3 2-2 8 Jaylen Jennings 7 6-6 20 CJ Davidson 2 2-4 7 Anthony Garden 2 0-1 4 Joseph Cantey 2 3-3 8 Raphael Torres 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 17-23 67.
KOLBE CATHEDRAL 20 13 20 15--68
ND-FAIRFIELD 12 19 18 18--67
3-pointers: KC--Underwood 3, Hill, Gardener; NDF--McIntosh 4, Davidson, Cantey.
Highlights: KC--Gardener had nine rebounds. Foster had six rebounds. NDF--Jennings had 10 rebounds. Pettway had six rebounds. Davidson had five rebounds and five assists.