Despite one of the best efforts the Lady Builders had all year, they could not pull out the victory in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship game. It was a heartbreaking 89-85 overtime loss in Sterling on March 1 against the Warriors.
The game opened with a 14-6 Sterling run. The women came right back though, taking a 23-22 lead midway through the first half. A three-point shot by Andrea Smith, sophomore forward, knotted up the game at 36. As time expired in the first half, Annjelina Robinson, freshman guard, hit a shot to keep Southwestern within two at the half as they went into the locker rooms down 40-38.
“It was a great lift right there at the end of the first half,” said Dave Denly, head women’s basketball coach. “(Robinson) had a tremendous game.”
The Builders came out strong in the second half as they grabbed a 53-45 lead with 15:55 remaining. That would be the biggest lead they would get as the Warriors fought back and neither team got up by more than four for the rest of the half.
With 15 seconds remaining in the game, the women found themselves down by two and the ball in their possession. Smith went up for a shot and was fouled with less than a second left on the clock. With the crowd making creating as much havoc as possible, Smith knocked down both free throws to send the game into overtime knotted up at 77.
After a back and forth battle in overtime, the Builders found themselves in a similar situation, down 88-85 with 28.1 seconds left. Southwestern could not get a decent shot as Sterling played excellent defense, blocking two consecutive Builder shots. In the end, time ran out on Southwestern as they fell 89-85.
“I was disappointed,” said Denly. “We just stood there on defense and we didn’t attack. It was a heck of a game though.”
Robinson led her team in scoring as she finished with 24 points. Jasmine Manuel, junior forward, followed with 22 points as she went nine of 16 from the field.
Sterling won the rebound battle 45-36 and Southwestern had five more assists than the Warriors. The key stat, though, was the free throws. Sterling attempted 52 shots from the line, hitting 40. The Builders, on the other hand, made just 14-22 free throw shots.
“We had a great season,” said Denly. “It was an awesome year. We had the third highest number of wins in school history and we tied for second in conference wins in a year. I am proud to be a part of this team.”
Clinton is a freshman majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.