Daniel Munoz wasn't going to stop shooting, not on this day, not with so much at stake for American's hopes of earning a home game and maybe more in the Patriot League tournament.
The senior point guard tried six shots in the second half with no success as the Eagles slogged their way into overtime against Holy Cross.
"I figured they'd fall sooner or later," said Munoz, who was 6-for-17 from the floor.
Try just in time.
Munoz made a 3-pointer at the buzzer in the extra session to cap a 14-point night as American secured a 64-61 victory at Bender Arena.
"He didn't have a great shooting percentage tonight, but seeing he took 17 shots is a great thing," coach Jeff Jones said. "I think that aggressive mindset, when he's attacking the rest of our team follows suit."
Munoz scored the first five points of overtime for the Eagles (10-15, 5-5), who enter the final two weeks of the regular season tied for fourth in the Patriot League with Army. The top four teams earn home games in the conference quarterfinals.
Neither team could muster a multi-possession lead in the final 10:27 of regulation or in overtime, and American sought to break a tie in the closing seconds. But a Blake Jolivette foul off an American miss sent the Crusaders' Cullen Hamilton to the free throw line for a one-and-one with 5.4 seconds left.
Hamilton missed and American's Mike Bersch quickly complied with Jones' instructions
"We talked about on a miss, whatever happens --- make or miss --- we wanted to get the ball into Danny's hands as quickly as possible," Jones said. "We really didn't want to take the timeout. We wanted to try to get it and go."
And away he went, peeking at the scoreboard as he rushed toward the left wing. There were three, maybe four, dribbles to work with.
In the moment, it didn't seem like Munoz had time to pull it off. Jones knew better.
"We definitely had time, especially because the ball was in Danny's hands," Jones said.
Eventually, Munoz found himself just outside the 3-point line, then created separation from Holy Cross guard Dee Goens, hoisted the winning shot and then looked to the crowd and tugged his jersey as teammates swarmed him.
"The first two halves weren't my thing," Munoz said. "The looks were there. They were good looks. Thankfully, they fell in overtime."
In just a moment, Munoz had the first game-winning buzzer-beater of his life and the Eagles had found a way to soothe the bruised pride from a loss to the Crusaders (11-14, 3-7) last month.
Jones wasn't in the mood to allow American to forget that stumble, though forward Stephen Lumpkins assured him the Eagles would be prepared.
And they were, right down to perhaps Munoz's most memorable moment at American.
"It's up there, especially because today was such a big game for the standings in the league," Munoz said. "I don't know if it would be as big against a nonconference opponent. But to beat Holy Cross in a huge game like this, it ranks up there."
--- Patrick Stevens