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video: Curley’s Two Buzzer Beaters Shake Up Hoop World

Friday, February 17, 2012


Curley's shot to win it.

It's not everyday that there are buzzer beaters in basketball games. There are even fewer that feature two buzzer beaters in a single game. Still fewer games have two buzzer beaters by the same player. Clark University's Travis Curley was that rare player in yesterday's 81-79 double-overtime win over Springfield College in NEWMAC action.

While only two shots of his 26 points made it onto ESPN's SportsCenter, Curley- a native of Trumbull, Conn.- led the Cougars over the Pride with a stunning performance, forcing a second overtime and then hitting the game-winning shot.

“I've coached a lot of kids over the years, had some good players, but never had someone put the team on his back like Travis did last night,” Coach Paul W. Phillips said. More impressive than simply what the two shots did for the Cougars were the conditions. The shot that forced the second overtime was a three-pointer from next to the bench and the game-winner was while Curley was in double-coverage.

Buzzer Beater Mania

“Everyone grabbed me [after the first buzzer beater,]” said Curley, who was visibly ecstatic.

“[After that] he came to me and said, 'Coach, give me the ball,'” Phillips said. “We don’t regularly have kids do that.” 

While the video only shows the performance of one player, Curley insisted he was not alone.

“What helped me is that the team had confidence. Everyone supported me when I said I wanted the ball,” Curley said. “It's hard to do without the support. I am really thankful to my teammates and the whole coaching staff for supporting me.”

Not many basketball players have made a single buzzer beater, never mind two in one game. San Antonio Spurs' Danny Green hit two buzzer beaters in January in a game against the Miami Heat, but these were just ending the the first and second quarter, not forcing the second overtime and winning the game, as Curley's did. 

Curley, Clark Senior

“I've never seen anyone do that [make two buzzer beaters in the same game,]” Phillips said. “He was in the zone.” 

One would be hard-pressed to find two buzzer beaters in one game of as high of importance as Curley's were, at least made by the same player. “It's pretty surreal, seeing myself on SportsCenter and everything. It all happened so fast. I'm still sort of in shock,” Curley said, less than twenty-four hours later.

“There was a shot they didn't show that was in the first overtime. He took a deep three, NBA three, and just made it,” Phillips said. 

“I don't shoot from there a lot, but time was winding down and I didn't have time to drive,” Curley said. “I'd done it in practice and knew I could make it, so I took it.”

Curley, a two-year starter, is one of the captains of the Cougars and is averaging 12.5 points per game, good for second on the team. He said he had never experienced anything like this before.
“I'd hit buzzer beaters on JV in high school, but nothing of this magnitude,” Curley said. “This tops all of them; It's the highest feeling of my sports career.”

“Nothing compares to what he did last night,” Phillips said. “He didn’t make one or two, he made three huge, huge shots. Its unbelievable.”


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