Idaho 90, Austin 89
BOISE, Idaho, April 25 - The Idaho Stampede forced a third and decisive game in the D-League Finals with a 90-89 victory overthe Austin Toros as Cory Violette scored 19 points, including the go-ahead free throws with 21 seconds left.
The Stampede held the Toros to one point in the final 2 1/2 minutes and survived a frantic finish, setting up Friday night's game at Qwest Arena.
"If you enjoy basketball, this is the place to be," said Idaho coach Bryan Gates, whose team beat Austin for the first time in four meetings this season.
A flagrant foul against Luke Jackson led to two free throws by Darvin Ham that gave the Toros an 88-85 lead with 2:37 to go. Austin made 20 straight free throws in the second half.
With 57 seconds left, Jackson atoned with a floater that cut the deficit to one point. Andre Barrett missed a shot and Violette was fouled, making both to give Idaho an 89-88 lead.
A corner jumper by Austin's Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson hit the side of the backboard and went out of bounds. Randy Livingston - who is retiring after this season - split a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Gates was gesturing directions to his team when the inbounds pass hit his arm for a technical foul. Barrett, who scored 27 points, made the free throw, but Ham had his jumper partially blocked by Brent Petway.
In front of 3,659 fans, including some who made the trip from Texas to support the Toros, Barrett scored 12 points in the first period as Austin opened a 33-27 lead. Idaho used a 12-1 run in the second quarter to grab a 49-45 halftime advantage.
Barrett ended the third quarter with an acrobatic coast-to-coast layup off the glass that gave Austin a two-point lead. The Toros led by as many as six points in the final period.