With the game knotted at 63-63 and time expiring in overtime between Widener and Mary Washington last Wednesday, Widener junior guard Steven Matlack heaved — chest-pass style — a shot from three-quarters court.

With a little help from the backboard, the ball sank through the basket. Game over.

“I didn’t realize how much time was on the clock,” Matlack said. “As soon as my teammate [Kevin Schenk] passed me the ball, he screamed, ‘Shoot it, Steve!’ ”

The buzzer was the only audible sound as the shot soared through the air. Everyone was fixated on the flight of the ball.

“As soon as I let go of the ball, I stopped and realized that this [shot] might have a chance to go in,” Matlack said. “Before I know it, my team is running after me.”

Pandemonium ensued. Matlack’s teammates chased after him, celebrating the finish that helped snap a four-game losing streak for the Pride. After the Widener men’s basketball team’s Twitter page posted the game-winning shot, hundreds of people “liked” it. At least 50 others retweeted the clip. Some tried to get the play on that night’s ESPN “Top Ten Plays,” a SportsCenter fixture, by tweeting the hashtag “#SCTop10.” Despite the effort, it didn’t make the cut.

“I thought there could have been a chance,” Matlack said.

SportsCenter or not, the play had a monumental impact on Matlack, who soaked up the online attention and praise from fans who sometimes neglect Division III basketball.

“I definitely got extra attention that night,” said Matlack, who gained a plethora of followers on social media from the shot alone. “I even had my teammates’ parents call to congratulate me.”

Matlack, who turned 21 on Jan. 9, believes that a win and that shot is one of the best presents he could have received.

“I got a lot of birthday wishes and stuff, but this [shot] put my birthday to shame with all the attention,” Matlack said.

A Mount Laurel native, Matlack attended Lenape High School. His playing career there was marred by injuries — a heart problem and back injury in his sophomore year and a broken finger his junior year, according to The Courier-Post — but Matlack remained optimistic.

“Playing at Lenape was great,” Matlack said. “My coaches and teammates were always the best.”

Before his senior season, Lenape coach Chuck Guittar resigned, handing over the reins to current head coach Matt Wolf. One area of his game that he credits to both of his coaches at Lenape: defense.

“As soon as I became a freshman at Widener, I realized how much defense has helped me with college basketball,” Matlack said.

Although defense is his calling card, Matlack’s offensive contributions shouldn’t be diminished. He followed up his late-game heroics against Mary Washington with an 18-point, 7-rebound performance in Widener’s next game, a nine-point win against Messiah.

“With that shot, I realized how much my teammates cared about me and how much they supported me,” Matlack said. “Although [the shot] didn’t give me my confidence, it helped me with it.”

For his new social media followers or casual Widener basketball fans, Matlack wants to be seen as a team-first leader who holds his teammates accountable.

“Know that we [Widener] will never give up and never stop fighting, even if we are down by a lot,” Matlack said. “We are always trying to get better.”