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Texas’ Jones hits GW shot 3 years after diagnosis

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Three years to the day since Texas coach Shaka Smart informed his team of Andrew Jones‘ leukemia diagnosis, Jones made a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left to give the No. 4 Longhorns’ a 72-70 win over No. 14 West Virginia.

Down by one in the final minute, Texas allowed West Virginia to grab two offensive rebounds and sent Emmitt Matthews to the free throw line with 10 seconds left. Matthews proceeded to miss both free throws.

Smart elected not to call a timeout to set up a play and guard Courtney Ramey drove to the lane, drew multiple West Virginia defenders and kicked it out to Jones, who was open in the right corner. Jones buried the jumper.

Jones, who also scored his 1000th point during the game, finished with 16 points, three rebounds and made four 3-pointers.

“All glory to god for even allowing me to be here and play the game that I love,” Jones wrote on Twitter after the game. “Thank you too my teammates and all my supporters. Let’s keep it going.”

Jones was diagnosed with leukemia in January 2018 and was released from the hospital more than a month later. He completed chemotherapy treatment in August 2018. He returned for two games in November at the start of the 2018-19 season but began another round of treatment a month later.

After missing the better part of two seasons, Jones had 20 points in Texas’ opener last season and went on to play all 31 games. He missed this season’s opener, but has played in all 10 games since, helping Texas to its 10-1 start.

“He’s come so far,” Smart said. “I don’t know a lot of guys that would be able to do what he did from the standpoint of scraping and clawing his way back. The one thing that is just so impressive about Andrew from the beginning is, after he was diagnosed, he kept saying: ‘I’m going to come back and play. I’m going to come back and play.’

“I think the rest of us were just like: ‘We’ll be happy if we can just get you back healthy. Forget playing right now.’ But I think that really helped him from a motivational standpoint.”

Jones is averaging 13.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists this season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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