After F-M took a brief 24-22 lead in the third quarter, though, Proctor started to assert itself. Its full-court press led to turnovers and baskets, and the Raiders also hit a trio of 3-pointers, at one point building a 44-34 lead late in that period.
On the brink of getting blown out, the Hornets stormed back into it with an 11-3 run. It rattled Proctor so much that, midway through the fourth quarter, Preaster and Ronald Tarver nearly fought on the court before teammates separated them.
Despite all this, with a minute to play in regulation, F-M still trailed 51-46, and would need to be close to perfect to stay in it.
Lee began the first rally with a huge 3-pointer from the left side. After Proctor missed on the other end, F-M, out of time-outs, had to work on the fly as time wound down. Gilbert, seeing no one else open, drove to the goal.
"No one else really stepped up (to defend me), so I took it to the basket, threw it up, and hoped that it went in," said Gilbert.
It did, and when Proctor (not calling a time-out to set up a play) couldn't get off a clean shot before the buzzer, they went to overtime.
Again, the Raiders took the lead, bumping it to 57-54 on Rastafari Brown's rebound basket with 39 seconds left. Again, the Hornets would come back.
With 20 seconds to play, Meril Tili hit two free throws (his only points of the game) to make it 57-56. Immediately, F-M fouled, and on the front end of a one-and-one, Wesley Jackson missed, and F-M rebounded.
Small, hot throughout the second half and OT, ended up with the ball, and was fouled as he drove to the net with 6.1 seconds showing. He said he felt no pressure at the line, despite the dramatic situation -- and both shots were perfect.