Les Henson, a 6-foot-6 Virginia Tech forward, grabbed a loose-ball rebound in the deep corner with :02 on the clock, whirled and flung a right-handed shot over his head and through the hoop to beat Florida State tonight, 79-77.
"Can you believe that shot? Good God. Good God," Henson said to a shocked Florida State cheerleader.
The corner from which Henson had shot was along the baseline at Tech's defensive end -- making it a 93-footer. That might be unsurpassed, even unsurpassable, in college basketball, played on 94-foot courts.
The Seminol cheerleader was speechless.
Henson had sat out seven minutes of the second half of this Metro Conference engagement with four personals before connecting to lift the hokies' record to 4-1 in the league, 11-3 overall, while sinking FSU to 3-2, 10-4.
Virginia Tech was lucky to get that last-ditch shot that broke the ninth tie of a game in which the lead changed hands nine times. With 22 seconds left, Tech's Dale Solomon missed a 12-footer, and the Seminoles, after getting the rebound, called time at :10. With five seconds to go, Pernell Tookes shot from 14 feet for FSU, the ball bouncing off the rim and over the heads of would-be rebounders.
Henson fielded it, quickly saw he had no hope of making a pass and let fly. The buzzer sounded with the ball in midair. It hit the back of the rim and slammed through the net.
Henson, after so dramatically wrapping up an eight-for-11 shooting, 20-point scoring night, related, "In eighth grade, I remember, me and another guy used to shoot 50-foot hook shots in practice -- but I've never shot one like that before."
Wayne Robinson, Tech's high scorer tonight with 23, had been closing in on the ball before Henson picked it up. Robinson said, "I was going to let it go out of bounds. Les seemed to come out of nowhere."