Senior SHSU basketball star makes habit of buzzer beaters

Half a second isn’t enough time to do anything.

Unless your name is Jasmine Johnson.

Sam Houston State’s women’s basketball team is on a three-game winning streak in conference and two of those wins have the senior guard’s signature – a last-second, game-winning shot.

The Bearkats spent the second half of the contest hosting Nicholls State Jan. 11 in close scoring quarters, never leading by more than four points. With three seconds remaining on the game clock, Nicholls State drained a free throw for a two-point advantage over the Bearkats.

There was enough time for one last possession.

“With .5 seconds, you can get a catch and a shot off,” head coach Brenda Nichols said.

Sophomore guard Amanda Barnes inbounded the ball to Johnson, and she sank the 3-pointer as time expired to snag the victory 51-50.

“Jasmine’s been doing this a long time,” Nichols said. “It was a heck of a job by her.”

She replicated the same feat against Southeastern Louisiana one week later. SHSU trailed SLU the entire game except when they were up 2-0 in the first 30 seconds of play.

“We start off a little slower than I think we should,” Johnson said. “But we definitely click in the end.”

The ‘click’ for the Bearkats came within the last 30 seconds of regulation as they were down 75-72. After a missed shot and a rebound, Johnson found the ball in her hands again with 15 seconds from the end of regulation.

She did it again.

Johnson drained the game-saving shot that sent the two teams into overtime.

The Bearkats gained some momentum going into overtime as they either led or were tied with the Lions for the period. The contest was tied 85-85 and with one second remaining, SHSU was fouled by Southeastern, sending Johnson to the charity stripe.

“Nothing really goes through my mind,” Johnson said. “I just know it’s what we need.”

She connected on one of the free throws, giving the Bearkats a thrilling overtime 86-85 victory in Hammond, La.

Johnson’s steely gameplay not only led her team to victories, but it also landed her on ESPN’s Top 10 Plays earlier this month.

“It was really exciting,” she said. “It was a good moment for my team, a good confidence boost.”

With little time remaining on the clock for Johnson’s career at SHSU, she believes that the team will be in capable hands after she’s gone.

“Angela Beadle and Jazmin Wiley definitely,” Johnson said. “Those two down low will definitely be something to mess with next year.”

But for now, Johnson will continue to play her game, doing whatever she has to do for her team whether it be hitting the game-winner or sinking a clutch free throw.

“I just have to put it in the hole,” she said.

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