Haynes-Jones’ buzzer beater wins it for Wichita State … again

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Haynes-Jones’ buzzer beater wins it for Wichita State … again

Wichita State guard Samajae Haynes-Jones celebrates in the second half of the game against UConn on Feb. 28, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

Wichita State guard Samajae Haynes-Jones celebrates in the second half of the game against UConn on Feb. 28, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State guard Samajae Haynes-Jones celebrates in the second half of the game against UConn on Feb. 28, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

Joseph Barringhaus

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State guard Samajae Haynes-Jones celebrates in the second half of the game against UConn on Feb. 28, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

Wichita State senior Samajae Haynes-Jones has a new nickname.

“Big shot Samaj,” Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall called his senior guard after Haynes-Jones sealed Thursday’s 65-63 win with a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer. 

UConn’s Alterique Gilbert knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game at 64, which helped identify the Shockers’ defensive collapse in the final 60 seconds of play. But it also put Wichita, and most importantly Haynes-Jones, in a familiar position. 

Jan. 30 in Charles Koch Arena, with 13 seconds left and the game tied, Haynes-Jones wouldn’t let anyone else shoot the final shot. He drove underneath the basket and finished a reverse lay-in to give the Shockers a sweet victory. Thursday was no different.

Freshman Dexter Dennis inbounded the ball to Haynes-Jones with 6.4 seconds on the clock, and Haynes-Jones, a blur, blew right past teammate Markis McDuffie. Haynes-Jones missed the screen and threw up a floater. In the next instant, he was dog-piled by his teammates on the sideline.

“It was beautiful,” Marshall said. 

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State guard Samajae Haynes-Jones takes a three-point basket in the second half of the game against UConn on Feb. 28, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. Haynes-Jones led the team with 20 points in the win over UConn. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

Haynes-Jones did more than sink the game’s final shot. His team-high 20 points (12 in the second half) propelled Wichita State to a much-needed victory. Haynes-Jones had three rebounds, an assist, and made four of his nine 3-point shots. He took charges, too.

“He can make plays,” McDuffie said of Haynes-Jones. “For him to go at that speed and get a shot up, it just shows confidence in his game.”

Haynes-Jones took the lead in the timeout, voicing over Marshall. He demanded the ball. Over and over again, Haynes-Jones called for the ball.

“I was like ‘oh man’,” Burton laughed.

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State guard Jamarius Burton drives the basket during the game against UConn on Feb. 28, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

Haynes-Jones, this season, has turned into a quiet leader when the Shockers have needed him most. Minus a few off games, he has elevated his play to a whole different level from a season ago, where he averaged just 11 minutes of play. And he’s done it confidently, and humbly.

“It just felt good to get a win,” Haynes-Jones said. “It was a big shot and all, but as a team we worked so hard – to get the win was great.”

PHOTOS: Gregg Marshall celebrates 300th win as Haynes-Jones makes it one to remember

Joseph Barringhaus
The Wichita State bench celebrates after a three-point basket in the second half of the game against UConn on Feb. 28, 2019 at Charles Koch Arena. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)