Jimmy Carter is an award-winning reporter covering Arkansas football and basketball for WholeHogSports.com. He was born in Texas and grew up in Tulsa. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Monk Beats Buzzer
Sophomore makes last-second shot to beat Springdale
Malik Monk, right, of Bentonville is pushed into wall by fans and players after he sunk a three-pointer with .8 seconds left in the game Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, during the game against Springdale at Bulldog Gym in Springdale. Bentonville won over Springdale, 57-56.
SPRINGDALE The showdown lived up to its hype.
And Malik Monk provided an epic ending.
The highly-touted Bentonville sophomore hit an improbable 30-foot 3-pointer over two defenders as time expired to lift the Tigers to a 57-56 comeback win in the matchup of the top teams in the 7A/6AWest.
“I really couldn’t see nothing,” Monk said. “But my teammate made a great pass and I turned around and made the shot.”
HOW THEY SCORED
Bentonville 8 16 16 17 — 57 Springdale 18 13 13 12 — 56 BENTONVILLE (12-3, 6-0): Monk 27, Dixon 10, Robinson 6, McNee 4, Bennett 4, Smith 4, Head 2. SPRINGDALE (13-4, 5-1): Owens 24, Evans 14, Cook 8, Gause 6, Eckwood 2, J. Wymer 2.
Monk’s buzzer-beater robbed Springdale (13-4, 5-1) of a game it thought it won. Bulldogs junior guard Tereke Eckwood hit a go-ahead, driving layup and Springdale forward D.J. Evans stole the Bentonville inbounds pass as the horn sounded and Springdale players and fans celebrated. But the officials put 0.8 seconds back on the clock, enough time for Monk to catch and shoot over the tight defense.
“I couldn’t see what happened,” Springdale coach Brad Stamps said. “All I heard was a horn. And of course everyone’s out on the floor. Then he calls them back and there’s 0.8. I thought we had the ball because D.J. (Evans) intercepted (the initial ensuing inbounds pass). I thought that was game over. … Monk hit a great shot. I just felt it probably shouldn’t have come down to that.”
Monk took over in the final minute after struggling for most of the game. He hit just three of his fi rst 20 shots, but stepped up when it counted for Bentonville (12-3, 6-0).
Springdale led 54-48 with less than two minutes when Chris Owens hit a free throw, but Monk responded with a resounding dunk over a Bulldog defender, drawing a foul and sinking the free throw with 1:16 left. Monk hit his 15th free throw of the night to tie the game at 54 with 24.3 seconds left.
Eckwood scored what initially looked like his second game-winning basket in a few days after scoring nine points in the final minute to beat Fayetteville on Friday. But Monk answered with a dagger.
Monk stayed aggressive even when his shot didn’t fall, getting himself to the free throw line, where he hit 15-of-18. The Tigers kept battling even though they trailed by double digits several time and didn’t lead for the first time until early in the fourth quarter.
“For the last three days, all we talked about was poise,” Bentonville coach Jason McMahan said. “We stayed in it with poise.”
Owens was the best player on the floor for much of the night, finishing with a career-high 24 points, hitting 9-of-19 shots.