PITTSBURGH - It was a daring play, especially considering the situation. But Richmond's Khwan Fore knew what was coming and made a play he believed he could make.
The Spiders and George Washington staged a back and forth affair in the A-10's final quarterfinal match of the night on Friday, that included 21 lead changes. The Spiders held a one point lead with just over 5 seconds to play and had to defend the Colonial's final shot.
But that shot never came, because Fore made a steal off Yuta Watanabe and drove the length of the floor for a layup at the buzzer that gave the Spiders a 70-67 win and put them in the A-10 semifinals for the first time since they last won this tournament back in 2011.
"You just have to do it" Fore explained after the win. "You have to go with your first instinct. You have to believe that it will work out for the best. I believed that I would get the steal."
"I waited for a second to see if there would be a whistle" said Spiders forward TJ Cline. "It was just a great, instinctual play by one of the best defenders in this league."
Fore had 14 points to go along with 7 rebounds and that one important steal. ShawnDre' Jones led the Spiders with 19 and former St. Christopher's standout Nick Sherod added 13.
"It was a really big win" said Spiders head coach Chris Mooney. "I think getting the double-bye was really important. One team played great and has to go home, the other team played pretty well and gets to stay."
Fore has more than just a memory to take home tonight. He was cut on his forehead not by any action in the game, but by a botched celebratory kiss from freshman guard De'Monte Buckingham who, in a post-game scrum, got more teeth and less lips onto his teammates forehead than he intended. Fore didn't seem to mind.
"It (the win) means a lot" Fore said. "It gets us one step closer to our goal of winning and A-10 championship."