DeSean Murray

Julie Bennett/AL.com via AP

Auburn lands third transfer within the last week

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After receiving commitments from former Purdue/Houston guard Ronnie Johnson and former Presbyterian forward DeSean Murray, Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl continued to load up on the transfer market Monday. Forward LaRon Smith, who was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year at Bethune-Cookman last season, announced that he will use his final season of eligibility at the SEC program.

Like Smith, Johnson will also be eligible to compete immediately for the Tigers while Murray will have to sit out next season before having two years of eligibility remaining.

The 6-foot-8 Smith played two seasons at Georgia State before transferring to Bethune-Cookman, where he averaged 7.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per contest in 2015-16. Smith played just over 25 minutes per game for the Wildcats, shooting 58.5 percent from the field.

Smith reached double figures in scoring in four of the Wildcats’ final seven games, including a 20-point, 11-rebound, three-block outing in an overtime win over North Carolina A&T. He joins a front court in need of depth following the departures of the likes of Cinmeon Bowers and Tyler Harris, with Horace Spencer, Trayvon Reed and incoming freshman Anfernee McLemore also competing for minutes in 2016-17.

VIDEO: Buzzer-beater gives Presbyterian first-ever Big South tournament win

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While the NCAA tournament is the crown jewel of the college basketball season conference tournaments should not be overlooked, especially those in which only the winner will be headed to the NCAA tournament. That desperation to play one more day when the next loss means the end of the season is one thing that makes March such a special month.

Thursday afternoon seven-seed Radford and ten-seed Presbyterian met in the first round of the Big South tournament, and the two teams produced an thriller in Buies Creek, North Carolina. Gregg Nibert’s Blue Hose had never won a Big South tournament game since joining the conference in 2007, but that changed thanks to a DeSean Murray put-back as time expired to give Presbyterian the 65-64 victory.

The video above has the court side angle of the finish, and the embedded clip below is the television angle.

Murray’s shot came 7.5 seconds after Radford’s Rashun Davis gave the Highlanders a one-point lead on a jumper just inside of the three-point arc. Presbyterian had two shots at the win before Murray collected Janeil Jenkins’ missed shot and put the ball into the basket just before the final horn.

Presbyterian will play two-seed Winthrop in Friday’s quarterfinal round.