By Clinton Dick
In arguably the most exciting game of the year, the Lady Moundbuilders knocked off the Ottawa University Braves in a 98-96 double overtime effort Saturday night in Stewart Field House. The win shakes off the remnants of a 57-51 loss to Kansas Wesleyan on Thursday and keeps the team one game behind the conference leader Friends University.
The Lady Braves found their stroke early and often in the first half, shooting 56.7 percent from the field. At one point, they took an 11 point lead. The Lady Builders battled back to narrow that lead to eight at halftime 44-36. Brittney Chamberlin, junior guard, and Brett Bates, senior guard, combined for 25 of their team’s 36 first half points. Chamberlin had 14 and Bates put up 11.
The Lady Builders jumped out of the gate fast coming out of the locker rooms. They knotted the game up at 50 with 14:20 remaining thanks to a layup by Zefiryn Bryan, sophomore forward. Chamberlin then hit a shot at the 12:50 mark to give the team their first second half lead. Kristy Herman, junior guard, extended that lead to 55-51 with a three-point basket. Herman finished with 10 points for the night.
With seven minutes remaining, Shannon Carlin, senior guard, hit a three-point shot that capped off three consecutive possessions for the Lady Braves in which they scored from the beyond the arch. Shauna McClure, sophomore guard, hit the other two three balls for the team on their previous possessions. The 9-0 run gave Ottawa a 67-62 lead.
After a continual back and forth affair, McClure’s name came up again when she hit two free throws with 25.8 seconds remaining in the second half to put the Lady Braves up 81-78. Herman found a lane on Southwestern’s next possession and drive in for a shot that narrowed the lead to one with 10.2 seconds on the clock. A quick foul send Ottawa’s April Dowell, junior forward, to the line, where she connected on both of her foul shots with 9.1 seconds remaining. On the ensuing Lady Builder possession, Chamberlin sunk a shot from the beyond the arch with 2.3 seconds remaining to send the game into the first overtime.
Southwestern scored the first five points of overtime, but that didn’t hold off the Lady Braves from making things interesting. With 38.2 seconds remaining, Dowell made another set of clutch free throws to give Ottawa the two-point 92-90 lead. On the Builders next possession, two consecutive shots missed their target, but Bates pulled down the offensive rebound on the second miss and took it to the basket. Bates drove in and put up a shot inside that went down with 10.2 ticks left on the clock. Ottawa could not connect on a three-point basket as time expired and the game was sent to it’s second overtime period.
This time it was Ottawa who jumped out to the quick start, scoring the first four points of double overtime. It wasn’t until Ellen Blattner, senior forward, snatched an offensive rebound off of a Lady Builder miss and put it in to give the team a 97-96 lead with 51 seconds remaining. With time winding down, Ottawa missed two consecutive shots only to grab the offensive rebounds. McClure missed on the third attempt and Kaitlin Tennyson, sophomore forward, grabbed the rebound and passed in off to Annjelina Robinson, junior guard. Robinson weaved out of traffic and connected on a long pass to Herman, who instead of just pulling out and taking a free foul, drove to the basket where she was fouled and sent to the line. After her first miss, Dave Denly, head women’s basketball coach, called a timeout. According to Denly, Herman was to miss her second shot intentionally. Herman did not and the Braves inbounded the ball with 2.9 seconds remaining. Their long desperation shot was short of the mark and the Lady Builders walked away from a scare.
Three players from Southwestern scored over 20 points on the night. Chamberlin had 26, Bates put up 23 and Bryan scored 20. The team had 57 points in the paint and 17 second chance points compared to Ottawa’s four. Bryan also had 11 rebounds in a game that the Lady Builders won the rebounding battle 44-41.
McClure and Dowell combined for 50 of the team’s 96 points, each scoring 25. Carlin followed with 15 points on the night.
The Lady Builders stay at home Thursday at 6 p.m. against the Bethany College Swedes.
Clinton Dick is a junior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.