Cleveland St. uses 7-foot-2 player perfectly at end of game
Cleveland State Vikings head coach Dennis Gates on the sideline during the second half against the Milwaukee Panthers. Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cleveland State kept its NCAA Tournament hopes alive with a thrilling win over Purdue Fort Wayne on Tuesday night, and some savvy coaching at the end of the game helped seal the victory.

Cleveland State was leading 107-104 with six seconds left in triple-OT when coach Dennis Gates decided to go to his bench. Gates had 7-foot-2 freshman Mabor Majak, who has barely played at all this season, guard the inbound pass. Majak hopped up and down at the baseline and interrupted the inbound pass enough to create a turnover.

That is exactly why most kids who are 7-feet tall and up can find a spot on a Division I basketball team. The sky is the limit for them, and Majak’s height was incredibly valuable in that particular situation.

While the Majak play was genius, it wasn’t the most exciting one of the night. Cleveland State would have lost if not for this insane shot to force a third overtime.

Cleveland State advanced to the Horizon League semifinals with the win.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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