FDU’s ‘life-changing’ win sparked by Sean Moore’s big shot

COLUMBUS, OH — That was the moment I knew the Fairleigh Dickinson players were trying to make history.

The creator of that moment was Sean Moore. He was a 6-foot-4 junior forward who grew up in Columbus, Ohio, a nation wide he lived a few miles away from the arena.


Moore’s 3-point shot from the top of the key gave the 16th seed FDU a 5-point lead over the 1st seed Purdue with 1:03 remaining.

It was the arrow that knocked down the boilermaker.

After the ball left Moore’s hands, he posed like a statue for several minutes, his right-hand follow-through freezing in the air as his teammates moved the trajectory around him.

On the stand, mother Shanika Tyler said to herself (and whoever listens), “That’s my son!”

“I was so taken aback, so surprised…I was speechless,” Tyler told The Post on Saturday, recounting the moment. I said, ‘Son, don’t be afraid to step onto that floor.’ I said to him, ‘Own the court.’

“Nobody expected this to come, but we didn’t doubt him for a minute.”

Sean Moore hit Zach Eadie with a 3-pointer to give FDU a 63-58 upset win over No. 1-seeded Purdue with just over a minute remaining.

Chavis Wilson, Moore’s second father figure and father to Moore’s 14-year-old brother, remembers when he saw the ball leave his hands en route to making the most clutch shots in FDU history. , there was no doubt.

“When he hit that shot, I started having flashbacks of all the training and shooting, 2,000 shots a day in the summer, all the games, all the tournaments, all the heartache,” Wilson said Saturday in the post. told to “I’m proud of him for taking the big game. He was staying away from the big game. I said to him before the game, ‘This is your city.’

“Even in the coach [Tobin] Anderson’s wife [Jodi]Before they got on the bus, I said, ‘Sean, you always play well in front of your family.

“When he hit that shot, I knew it was in. It was just meant to be.”

Moore on Saturday described what he and FDU did on Friday as “life-changing.”

“This whole game changed everyone on the team: staff, students, everyone who attends Fairleigh Dickinson College,” he said. “Everything is different now”

For that shot, that moment, everything is different.

“I missed that shot a few times in the second half, so I wasn’t going to let that shot go,” Moore told the Post. No. It was just momentum and energy.I felt I had to release the energy the way I felt.

An enthusiastic Sean Moore is hugged by his teammates after a crucial 3-pointer in the final minute that helped FDU to an upset victory over No. 1-seeded Purdue.
An enthusiastic Sean Moore is hugged by his teammates after a crucial 3-pointer in the final minute that helped FDU to an upset victory over No. 1-seeded Purdue.

Wilson said he communicates with Moore by giving him a certain look during the game.

“Like the two shots before that, he hesitated a little bit,” Wilson said. “When they trailed him by five in the late game, I looked at him, winked, and said, ‘We have to do it now.’ He took it to the next level. I did.”

Demetre Roberts, FDU fifth grader and team leader, called Moore’s shot a “game changer,” adding: I am very proud of him. he acted ass. Thanks to him, we can move forward. ”

With 13 seconds remaining in the game, it was Moore who blocked Purdue’s Braden Smith’s shot to seal the win with FDU clinging to a 3-point lead.

Moore has entered the game averaging 6.7 points per game and has hit double figures just eight times in the past 34 games this season. Still, he led the Knights with his career-high 19 points, scored five rebounds and blocked his shot twice in the biggest game of his life.

He did this in his hometown, in front of his mom and dad and his people.

“You can’t make up for it,” Tyler said. , I just want to be a basketball player.I want to be tall.”

“I always said, ‘Pray about it.’I’m short and his dad is short, so he [6-4]it feels like it was a blessing from God and destined to be his life.

3 Keys to FDU Victory

Let’s see what the 16th seed FDU (21-15) has to do to overthrow the 9th seed Florida Atlantic (32-3) in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday.

intense stay

FDU had a nearly perfect match against No. 1 seed Purdue on Friday night. Sunday’s challenge is to maintain the same elite intensity that took the biggest win in school history.

“It’s hard to beat last night’s results,” said FDU guard Grant Singleton. “But we’re just trying to stay cool and humble about the situation. There’s more to do. We want to keep dancing.”

box out

FAU doesn’t have the big height advantage over FDU like Purdue, but he’s just as aggressive against grass as FAU.

The FAU had 18 offensive rebounds in Friday night’s win over Memphis and has a plus-6 rebound margin this season (FDU is plus-0.5).

protect the boundaries

FDU focused much of its collapsing defensive energy on Purdue’s 7-foot-4 center Zach Eady, so he let Purdue’s outside shooter shoot.

Boilermakers achieved 5/26 from long range and couldn’t hurt the FDU perimeter. FAU says he makes nearly 10 3-pointers per game and shoots 37% of the way. And that puts the opponent down to 31% of him.

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