DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – Ronald Moore hit a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left in the second overtime – from the identical spot he made one at the end of the first OT – as the ninth-seeded Siena beat eighth-seeded Ohio State 74-72 on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Moore’s two clutch shots advanced ninth-seeded Siena (27-7) into Sunday’s second round where the Saints will meet Louisville, the tournament’s top team. The Cardinals moved on with a 74-54 win over No. 16 seed Morehead State.
Evan Turner missed a leaner from 15 feet that would forced a third OT for the Buckeyes (22-11), who blew an 11-point lead in the second half of regulation.
Siena came into the tournament with a higher profile for a small school after shocking Vanderbilt in the first round last March. The little college from upstate New York returned a veteran squad that was given a solid chance of beating one of the Big Ten’s powers.
Siena pulled it off despite playing much more like sinners than Saints.
Siena committed 22 turnovers and made just 6-of-23 3-pointers, but Moore, who was only 4-of-13 from the field, hit his two big shots when it mattered most.
Once the final horn sounded and Siena had moved on for a date with the fearsome Cardinals, coach Fran McCaffery wrapped his arms in around his point guard and carried him off the floor as the Saints fans, outnumbered by the thousands, chanted “Ron-ald Moore.”
The Buckeyes had everything going their way. They were playing just an hour from home and they had the size, strength and stature on their side.
It didn’t matter to the Saints, champions of the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference, who stormed back from a 41-30 deficit in the second half.