The college basketball season has a way of bringing about some funky finishes, but a pair of battles between the men's and women's basketball teams of UTEP and Florida International had fans see double on Thursday.With the men's teams doing battle in El Paso, Texas, and the women's squads squaring off in Miami, both games ended on a buzzer-beater and with a final score of 88-87. Don't pinch yourself just yet, as the two games also featured a combined five overtime periods (men's 2OT; women's 3OT). On the men's side, UTEP's senior floor general Dominic Artis grabbed a loose ball and fired up a fadeaway shot before the end of the second overtime to knock off the Golden Panthers by a point.
The shot would require a review before being confirmed as the game winner. And the Miners needed this W badly, having lost 12 in a row before knocking off the Golden Panthers of FIU.
Not to be outdone, the finish in the women's game was just as exciting — if not more so.
Another UTEP senior, Sparkle Taylor, knocked down a one-dribble pull-up jump shot with just a hair under three seconds left in the game's third overtime. Taylor finished with 21 points on the night, her fourth straight 20-plus point effort. Her final bucket gave the Miners a two-point (87-85) lead that surely seemed safe. Not so fast, said Florida International sophomore Kristian Hudson.
Hudson took the inbounds pass and dribbled downcourt in the game's waning seconds before nailing a 35-foot heave at the final buzzer. Final score: FIU 88, UTEP 87.
The 3-pointer, which was Hudson's only make from deep on the night, gave her a career-high 35 points in the win to go along with 10 assists and eight rebounds in a near triple-double. The win also gave the FIU women their first home-winning streak in four years, according to FIU athletics.