NATCHITOCHES – A buzzer beating, overtime layup spoiled Northwestern State’s bid for an epic comeback and second straight conference win on Wednesday night.
The Lady Demons (4-10, 1-4 SLC) successfully erased a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 61 on a Kira Bonner layup with 15 seconds to go. A pair of Victoria Miller free throws with three ticks left and a missed Incarnate Word jumper at the buzzer sent the game into extra time.
It was the heartbreaking 24thoffensive rebound for UIW (6-6, 2-1 SLC) that created the game winning shot the fell through the basket as time expired.
“We’ve got to stop putting ourselves in that position,” fourth-year head coach Jordan Dupuy said. “We played two good quarters, the first and the fourth and finally really started implementing the game plan in the fourth. We’ve got to get that solved going forward for sure.”
Down 10-3 early in the first quarter, the Lady Demons got a spark on a 3-point shot from Bonner. Her basket started a 14-2 run carrying NSU to a five-point advantage on a pair of free throws from Gabby Bell with less than two minutes to play.
Nakaylis Washington hit a jumper with 33 ticks left making it 19-16 after the first 10 minutes of play. The Lady Demons shot a game-high 54 percent and were off to a quality start.
The second and third quarters were not as kind to NSU with the shooting effort dipping below 30 percent for both quarters.
The Cardinals used an 8-0 run late in the second to build a 32-24 lead but a 3-ball from the left corner from Bell as the buzzer sounded gave NSU some momentum going into the half only down 34-29.
Baskets from Miller and Lacee Savage started the second half making it a one-point game. A seven-minute scoring drought and a 14-0 UIW run forced NSU’s back against the wall trailing 52-39 heading into the fourth quarter.
Savage initiated the Lady Demons’ comeback attempt with three straight baskets followed by a clutch 3-pointer from Bonner making it a 53-48 game with less than seven minutes to go.
With the Lady Demon defense clamping down the Cardinal offense, the run continued to roll. Two free throws and a 3-point dagger from Jasmyn Johnson brought NSU within a point with exactly four minutes left.
Miller’s clutch free throws with three seconds left sent the game to overtime, answering the free shots from UIW, made just eight second prior.
Bonner knocked down two from the line early in the extra frame to put the Lady Demons on top for the first time since the 7:26 mark of the second quarter.
The first field goal of the overtime period didn’t come until a Bonner driving layup with 33 seconds left knotted the game at 67. After an inadvertent whistle allowed UIW a chance to play for the final shot, the desperation heave from Imani Robinson was corralled and put up and in as the horn sounded by Lunden Henry, stealing the win from the Lady Demons.
NSU was outrebounded 47 to 35 in the game with 24 offensive boards for the Cardinals leading to 20 second-chance points, including the game winner.
The Lady Demons travel to McNeese on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip-off as a part of the first road doubleheader of the season with the NSU men.
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