Huang Tsong-han’s off-balanced jumper with 1.6 second remaining in the game broke a 55-55 tie as Changhua’s Mingdao University rallied from as many as 11 points down in the second half to top Tainan’s Taiwan Shoufu University 57-55 at the Sinjhuang Sports Complex in New Taipei City last night.
The win earned Mingdao a trip to this afternoon’s Final Four showdown against top seeds National Kaohsiung Normal University in the annual University Basketball Association tournament, where the winners advance to tomorrow night’s title game.
Things did not start off well for Mingdao as they were held to just four points in a miserable first quarter to fall 13-4 behind after 10 minutes of play.
However, Changhua City’s finest returned the favor by outscoring Shoufu 21-10 in the second quarter to claim a 25-23 lead at halftime.
Neither team managed to hold leads larger than three points, with Huang leading the way for Mingdao and Liu Ting-wei matching his counterpart until a full-court press defense by Shoufu late in the third quarter helped set up a 6-0 run to put Shoufu ahead 38-32.
Mingdao finally solved Shoufu’s full-court press in the fourth quarter and got several fast-break baskets in their transition game as a result to erase an 11-point deficit with less than three minutes to play, before taking a 55-53 lead on the strength of Lee Chi-wei’s running floater with 42 seconds left.
After Shoufu tied the game with a basket from close range with 15 seconds remaining, Huang took matters into his own hands as he drove against a Shoufu defender to create just enough separation for the jumper that won it at the buzzer.
NTU of Arts 85, NTSU 79
New Taipei City’s National Taiwan University of Arts also made it into the Final Four with an improbable 85-79 come-from-behind win over defending champions National Taiwan Sport University of Taoyuan.
Hsiao Hsuan-yi had a career-best 35 points for the Artists as they rallied from as many as 16 points down in the first half to finish off the holders.
“It was now or never, and we chose to give it all we had,” Hsiao said.