The other team's view of the Ohio miracle game

HIRAM, Ohio - Last Sunday, in the opening seconds of this game, in the final weeks of her life, Mount Saint Joseph University freshman Lauren Hill made the shot heard round the world.

The game announcer said: "We'll remember that layup forever."

The story of her terminal brain cancer and her celebration in spite of it has been told all over the globe.

But while most news cameras were either focused on the celebration at center court or the crowd of 10,000 cheering fans, our cameraman noticed something else remarkable. He zoomed over and caught the reaction of the opposing team - a reaction that went so far beyond good sportsmanship we just had to meet them.

"I can't even really describe it," said Taylor Ratliff. "I was just overcome with happiness, really."

"Most happy feeling I've ever felt of an opponent scoring," said Jaclyn Fortner.

They are the Hiram Terriers from Hiram, Ohio and what they showed on the court that day surprised even their coach, Emily Hays.

"I have my girl inbounding the ball, wiping her eyes," said Coach Hays. "I'm just like 'Oh, my gosh!' and the thing is, I didn't teach them. I mean, I can't prepare them for that. It just shows the kind of people that they are."

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The Terriers of Hiram College hug during their game against Mount Saint Joseph University on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014.
CBS News

Fact is, no one deserves more credit for making Lauren's moment possible than the women of Hiram College. This team not only offered to move the game up two weeks, they surrendered their home court advantage. They wanted Lauren to be able to play in front her friends and family.

As a thank you, the night before the game, Mount St. Joe took Hiram out to dinner -- something unheard of in college sports.

"Their team took us in," said Jaclyn Fortner. "They acted like we were their family."

"And we laughed together," Kelly Koskinen. "We cried together. We all hugged. It was like a big family of huggers there. It was awesome."

That good will extended throughout the entire of the game.

"Yeah, and at one point in the game, one of the girls after I shot a three and she was like, 'That was a great shot, I'm so glad you took it.' And I'm like, this is unreal," said Koskinen.

Asked if we should be borrowing, taking some of this into the rest of the basketball season, Koskinen said: "That's how I feel. I just want to play games like that every time."

Certainly, if college sports were a little less cutthroat, kids might learn that real winners aren't decided by scoreboards. And true character isn't defined by how often you make the highlight reel, but rather how you behave when you think nobody is looking.

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  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.