ST. LOUIS – Glenn Cosey made the only game-winning shot of his life, then ran off his home court.
Maybe Cosey, a senior guard for Eastern Kentucky, was looking for the nearest television.
Not long after Cosey banked in a 35-footer against Southeast Missouri State, the shot wound up on “SportsCenter” as ESPN’s No. 1 play on Feb. 1. That was almost as exciting for Cosey as the shot itself, which completed a 10-point rally in the final four minutes.
“Making the shot (was better) because, how the second half went of that game, it wasn’t really going in our favor,” said Cosey, who takes his 18.8-point scoring average into Eastern Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament second-round game against Kansas on Friday afternoon. “To make that shot at that time was a great feeling.”
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The Colonels trailed by a point when Cosey, a 6-foot transfer from Columbus (Ohio) State Community College, surged down the right side of the floor. A defender picked up Cosey soon after he crossed half court, forcing Cosey to pull up with more than two seconds remaining.
The shot came in front of an announced attendance of 2,300 in Richmond, Ky., and has earned more than 6,300 views on YouTube. More important for Cosey, it resulted in an important Ohio Valley Conference win.
“It was a great feeling, especially that it was a game-winner,” Cosey said. “It put a win in the win column. I wasn’t surprised that it was on ‘SportsCenter,’ I was surprised that it made No. 1.”
The separating of Cosey’s legs to add a bit more strength, and the necessity of shooting just before the buzzer, were the only differences between the game-winner and many of Cosey’s other shots.
He’s not afraid to shoot from far out, or to have the ball when big plays are needed. Just playing for Eastern Kentucky makes both of those qualities crucial.
The Colonels average 23.5 three-point attempts, which ranks 14th nationally. They take so many because they make a lot – 303 this season, third in Division I.
Cosey is at the forefront of that philosophy, whether taking shots himself or finding them for others. He leads EKU in assists and had five or more 13 times this season.
“Cosey is our motor,” Eastern Kentucky guard Orlando Williams said. “He is not only a great shooter, but he also gets everyone else involved.”
His specialty, though, is shooting. Cosey has made multiple three-pointers in 26 games as a senior, four or more 11 times, and he set a career high by making 10 of 12 in a win against Eastern Illinois in January.
“We just run plays and make the right pass, and most of the times we’re open for threes,” Cosey said. “… Most of them are good, open looks, but if it’s late (in the) shot clock, I probably have the ball in my hands, trying to make something happen. Most of the time I do pull up for three.
“I pull up from anywhere, to be honest. I always joke in practice, I just need an inch (of space) and I’m going to let it go.”
It makes sense, then, that when Cosey struggles, so does EKU. He had a four-game stretch in which he made 9 of 42 shots – that stretch started with a loss to Murray State and ended with a four-point win over Jacksonville State, No. 321 in the RPI.
Cosey made 2 of 11 in a loss to Youngstown State and 6 of 20 in an overtime loss to NCAA Tournament team VCU. But during EKU’s current seven-game winning streak, Cosey has shot 51 percent (42 of 83) and made 23 three-pointers.
“I always think about what I could have done differently,” Cosey said. “But sometimes I need to take that many shots, sometimes I don’t.”
Cosey has experienced celebrity status thanks to his highlight-reel shot, but he can earn even more clicks with similar heroics against Kansas.
“I would hope it’d touch 2 million views,” Cosey said. “But I’ll just take the win.”