BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- Here is something you don't see every day: A team beating the buzzer to extend a game not once or twice but three times.
D.J. Covington scored 28 points on 13-of-16 shooting and had 13 rebounds to lead VMI to a 108-104 win over Gardner-Webb in quadruple overtime Wednesday night.
Brian Brown contributed 22 points, including the go-ahead jumper in the fourth OT, for VMI (13-9, 6-3 Big South). Rodney Glasgow added 21 points and 12 rebounds, and QJ Peterson had 20 points.
Brown hit a 3-pointer at the end of regulation that tied the score at 73 and forced the first OT, and Covington hit a jumper at the end of the second OT to force the third extra period. Both shots fell just ahead of the buzzer in the longest Division I game of the season.
"Bless my guys. I just kept telling them to believe," VMI coach Duggar Baucom said. "Some of those overtimes, we were completely out of it. Miraculous things had to happen and they did. I am super proud of my guys."
Gardner-Webb (12-12, 5-4) trailed 35-32 at the break but kept the score close as neither team broke open a double-digit lead.
Tyrell Nelson led the Runnin' Bulldogs with career-high 24 points and 25 rebounds, while Jerome Hill had 15 points and 15 rebounds.
The Runnin' Bulldogs led 73-70 with nine seconds left in regulation, but VMI tied it on Brown's 3-pointer that banked in at the buzzer.
Neither team scored in the first four minutes of OT. Peterson put VMI ahead with a jumper with 52 seconds left, but Hill responded with a jumper moments later to tie it at 75. Peterson then missed a jumper with five seconds left, sending the game into its second extra period.
Gardner-Webb led by as many as four points in the second OT but VMI closed back in, tying it at 88 on Covington's jumper at the buzzer. The Runnin' Bulldogs again jumped to an early lead in the next OT period before VMI again tied it at the buzzer, this time on a layup by Tim Marshall that made it 97-97.
VMI opened the final OT by scoring seven consecutive points to build a lead it would protect down the stretch.
"I told the guys when we went to the fourth overtime that someone was watching out for us," Baucom said. "Tonight we had guys who hadn't been real visible and that came up and were extremely valuable."
Tyrell Nelson of Gardner-Webb had 24 points and 25 rebounds off the bench in Wednesday's 108-104 (4OT) loss to VMI. Nine D-I players have had at least 20 points and 25 rebounds in a game since 2000, but Nelson is the first to accomplish that without starting.
It may have taken four overtimes, but Tyrell Nelson of Gardner-Webb had 24 points and 25 rebounds in Wednesday's loss to VMI. Nelson is the first person to have at least 20 points and 25 rebounds in a game since Dec. 22, 2009, when Morgan State's Kevin Thompson had 23 points and 25 rebounds against Towson.