Pirates Spring Into Semifinals with Double Overtime Win
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Southwestern University had to survive two overtime periods and needed a runner in the lane by first-year forward Madison Eschle (pictured) with 1.7 seconds remaining to earn a hard-fought 96-95 decision over Birmingham-Southern College in the third women's quarterfinal match-up Saturday evening at Homewood High School.
The top seed out of the SCAC West, Southwestern (15-11) advances to play the winner of Millsaps and Trinity tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. CT, in the second women's semifinal at Bill Battle Coliseum. Birmingham-Southern ends its season at 14-12.
In a game with 11 lead changes and eight ties, Birmingham-Southern appeared to have the upper hand at the end of regulation and during the first overtime period. A free throw by junior forward Alex Adams gave Birmingham-Southern a 74-68 lead with 1:44 remaining in regulation. Southwestern, however, scored the next six points - capped by a game-tying 3-pointer by sophomore forward Chelsea Leader with 46 seconds remaining that ultimately forced overtime.
In the first extra period, Birmingham-Southern took control early, scoring the first eight points and capped by a three-pointer by Kristian Moody gave the Panthers a seven point the 81-74 with 2:37 remaining. Birmingham still led by six with 1:57 left, but a layup by Eschle, two free throws from first-year forward Jordan Owens and a steal and layup by Leader knotted the score at 83-83 with 24 seconds remaining.
Adams put back on her own miss with 12 seconds remaining to give Birmingham the 85-83 lead, but junior guard Katelyn Bartell's jumper at the elbow with five seconds left in overtime sent the game into a second extra period.
Southwestern led throughout the second overtime, but Birmingham's Caroline King sank two pressure-packed free throws with 13 seconds remaining to give the Panthers their first lead of the second extra period, 95-94.
After a BSC timeout, Southwestern worked for the final shot and Eschle's runner in the lane with 1.7 ticks remaining gave the Pirates the 96-95 win.
The heros were plenty on both sides of the ball. Senior guard Anna Fareed hit big shot after big shot for the Pirates and led the way with a game-high 28 points. Owens followed with 25 and Leader finished with 24.
Adams led the way for Birmingham-Southern with 25 points and King followed with a double-double of 23 points and 14 rebounds. Senior forward Ashton Spurgin also posted a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Southwestern shot 44.6% from the field in the game and 56.3% in overtime whiel holding BSC to 42.3% from the floor for the game. The Panthers won the battle of the boards 56-41, but the Pirates had eight more steals and five fewer turnovers.
To listen to post-game interviews with senior and leading scorer Anna Fareed and head coach Kerri Brinkoeter, please visit http://www.scacsports.com/sports/wbkb/2011-12/releases/scac_tournament_day_one_recap.