No way that desperation three-quarter court heave goes in … no way.

But when Tyrei Randall's shot snapped the net Friday night — a shot taken from just in front of Colorado Mesa's bench on the opposite end of the floor from the Metro State basket — the Mavericks could only stare in disbelief, and then hope the officials would find a reason to nullify the shot that gave the Roadrunners an 85-84 overtime victory at Brownson Arena.

All three officials took a look at the video replay several times, frame by frame, then discussed it among themselves after the Roadrunners had taken a wild victory lap around the gym, stopping in front of CMU's bench to celebrate before they were ushered back to their bench.

After several minutes, with the Mavs' Trevor Baskin repeatedly motioning for the basket to be waved off, the 3-pointer was signaled good.

Replay showed the ball was out of Randall's hand with 0.01 seconds on the clock. The question the Mavericks had was, with Randall chasing down the rebound of Georgie Dancer's missed free throw, how did he have time, with 1.3 seconds on the clock, to take two dribbles while being guarded by Baskin, then take two steps before launching the ball?

“I have no idea; it's not possible with 1.3 seconds left or whatever it was,” CMU coach Mike DeGeorge said. “I don't know if the clock started on time and I think (the officials) felt they couldn't change that. They were looking at it, they kept looking at it. He took two dribbles … there's just no way. I could see it was barely out of his hand, but there's just no way with two dribbles.”

The replay angle from the pressbox upstairs, doesn't show the actual game clock in the gym, but has a clock on the screen. There's no way to tell if the clock started as soon as Randall touched the ball.

“I was the one guarding him and I personally don't think the clock started on time,” Baskin said. “He took two dribbles and chucked it up. That's what I was trying to tell the refs, there's no way a person has time in 1.3 seconds to dribble up and make it. I had the best look at it and I was like, that looks really good, and sure enough, it was.”

Baskin had yet another outstanding game, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and four blocked shots, going up against the Roadrunners' stellar big man, Laolu Oke, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out.

Metro State (12-2, 6-2 RMAC) not only made the game-winning 3- pointer, but made one to send the game into overtime and another late in overtime to give the Roadrunners a chance.

Ra'Shawn Langston banked in a 3-pointer from the corner with 16 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 70-70. Blaise Threatt, who finished with 16 points for the Mavericks (13-6, 7-3), missed a driving layup at the buzzer to win it.

With just more than one minute remaining in overtime, the Mavs' defense caused Metro to scramble when first Dancer deflected a shot by Randall in the corner, and it went out to Miles Gibson at the top of the key. He started to go up for a shot with Jared Small flying at him, but instead threw it back to Randall in the corner. It appeared Gibson left his feet and came back down before passing the ball, but wasn't called for traveling, and Randall made the 3-pointer to cut it to 78-77.

A 3-pointer by Dancer with 36 seconds left in overtime gave CMU an 81-77 lead, but Langston drove for a layup, and Threatt was fouled with 7.5 seconds remaining. He made both free throws for an 83-79 lead, and folks started heading for the exits.

Turns out they missed the improbable finish.

Randall, who had 15 points for the Roadrunners, hit a 3 when the Mavericks were late on a defensive switch, and officials stopped play to check the clock, which showed 1.9 seconds. They put a half-second back on the clock, to 2.4 seconds, which gave the Roadrunners time to set up its defense (they were out of timeouts) and Dancer was quickly fouled on the inbounds pass.

Dancer, who finished with 10 points, made the first but missed the second, which usually isn't a bad thing with only 1.3 seconds left, because the offense has to scramble to even get a shot up.

The loss overshadowed a terrific night by Reece Johnson, who had 19 points, hitting five of nine from the 3-point line after struggling to shoot consistently from the perimeter much of the season.

“My teammates were finding me and getting good looks and just shooting with confidence,” Johnson said.

“Reece does everything well and works so hard so it was great to see him break through tonight and get that shot to fall again,” DeGeorge said of the redshirt sophomore guard. “I was pretty excited to see that first one go in because I knew that would kind of get him over the hump.”

Mesa's ball movement helped negate some of the length of the Roadrunners, the top defensive team in the RMAC, allowing teams to score only 66.7 points and shoot 40.3% from the field. CMU is third in scoring defense (66.9) and second in field goal defense (40.5%). The Mavericks threw the ball into the post, making the defense collapse, and if Baskin or Mac Riniker didn't have an advantage inside, they got the ball right back out to the guards.

“Their length causes issues, it's hard to see guys and they get a lot of deflections,” DeGeorge said. “We did a nice job. You have to stretch them out and it's almost multiple levels of that. The first guy's got to draw somebody and you've got to kick it and the second guy has to do the same thing. You've got to kind of break them down multiple times because they're very good defensively.”

Metro swept the home-and-home series, winning by 23 points in Denver in one of the Mavs' poorest performances of the season.

Friday's game was tied 13 times, there were 25 lead changes and neither team led by more than six points.

“Odds were when Georgie missed (the second free throw), I was like, that's a good thing,” Johnson said. “Odds are he's not hitting a 75-footer. It stinks, but I hope we see them again in the tournament.”