FRISCO, Texas — He wasn't Conference USA Player of the Year. He was edged out for that honor by his close friend, roommate and teammate B.J. Stith.
But when Old Dominion desperately needed a miracle, the senior point guard from Atlanta delivered.
Caver fired up a fallaway 3-point shot that swished through the next with 3.3 seconds left that advanced the Monarchs to the Conference USA tournament semifinals, and kept alive their hopes of going to the NCAA tournament.
A desperation jumper from Daquan Bracey clanged off the iron and ODU emerged with a stunning, 57-56, victory over Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals at the Ford Center at The Star.
ODU trailed 56-49, and appeared to be in big trouble, with 1:48 left after Bracey made a 3-pointer that bounced off the backboard and into the net. The 1,000 or so Louisiana Tech fans had turned the arena into a Bulldog pep rally and fate seemed to be going in the Bulldogs' direction.
But then Caver went to work, scoring ODU's last eight points.
He made a twisting shot in the lane to trim the lead to 5. After Bracey missed a layup, ODU broke down the court. Caver took a pass, and then stepped back a pace behind the 3-point line, and swished a shot that trimmed the lead to two with a minute left.
Bracey was fouled while shooting but missed both, and Stith went up over a Tech player to grab the rebound with 28 seconds left.
Tech denied ODU an open shot until there were ten seconds left, when Caver fired up a two-pointer that missed. It was rebounded by Kalu Ezipke, who fired it out to Caver for the game-winner.
"Anyone who saw the game knows we were fortunate to win," ODU coach Jeff Jones said. "We're offensively challenged and we really struggled to shoot the ball.
"But Ahmad stepped up and made a lot of big plays for us down the stretch."
ODU indeed struggled. Stith missed nine of his first 10 shots and the Monarchs shot just 37.5 percent for the game.
Stith managed to scored 10 points and pull down 11 rebounds in spite of his shooting woes. Caver had 17 points, eight assists and three steals.
"Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," Jones said. "Tonight we were very fortunate."
ODU plays UAB in the semifinals at 1:30 on Thursday. The Blazers defeated Texas-San Antonio, 85-76, in another quarterfinal game.