UWA pulls out overtime win
By By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 19, 2001
LIVINGSTON, Ala. The West Alabama Lady Tigers want to go places and do some major things in 2002. The destination of choice is Tupelo with an aim toward winning the Gulf South Conference.
On Tuesday afternoon here at Pruitt Hall, the Lady Tigers took a step in the right direction rallying in overtime to beat Harding University 79-75. The win moves first-year Head Coach Amanda Marks' team to 6-1 on the season heading into Christmas.
Next up is a Dec. 28 date against three-time defending GSC champion Delta State at the Mississippi University for Women Christmas Tournament in Columbus. MUW and Southern Arkansas are also entered.
Using a patient offense against a tough and fundamentally sound man-to-man defense of Harding, the Lady Tigers appeared to be in good shape with 6:33 left. A steal and lay-up by Cameshia Pete along with a free throw by Kim Cooper put West Alabama up 58-46.
Harding, however, came storming back with 10 straight points. Six came on back-to-back three-pointers from point guard Julie Wright.
Evans, who was playing limited minutes because of a muscle strain, answered for UWA. She hit two key shots, the first coming at the 4:08 mark on a 10-footer in the lane. The second came with 2:32 to play on a 14-foot jumper. The baskets gave the Lady Tigers breathing room at 62-56.
Two free throws by Lori Weber made it an eight-point game at 66-58 with 1:26 remaining. But back came Harding getting another three from Wright and a putback by Susan Berry to cut it to 66-63 with 50.8 seconds left.
A turnover at mid-court handed the ball back to the Bison. Wright again came through getting fouled and sank two free shots to cut it to one.
With time ticking, the Bison fouled Evans with 13.2 seconds left. She made both shots for a three-point lead at 68-65.
Needing a three, Harding tried to go back to Wright, but the Lady Tigers had other ideas. The ball eventually went to Mindy Napier who had been struggling from the field. With two seconds left, she let fly a three. It found nothing but net, sending the game into overtime.
Once there, Harding continued its momentum getting a pair of baskets by Berry to go up four on two occasions, the last at 74-70 with two minutes left.
This time, the Lady Tigers refused to fold. They got a free throw from Thelma Hearn to make it 74-71. Hearn then came up with a key steal to give West a chance for a tie.
Hearn later found Lori Weber who drained the three-pointer off the right wing, tying the game again at 74-all with 1:16 left.
Berry was short on a shot from the lane and UWA rebounded. With 21.2 seconds left, Cooper scored off a feed from Pete to make it 76-74.
Trailing again, Harding got the ball to Napier. With no shot at the three, she drove drawing the foul. With 3.2 seconds left, she missed the front end of the two-shot foul. She made the second for a 76-75 game.
On the inbound, Hearn retrieved the ball and was fouled with 2.6 ticks left. She made the front end for a two-point lead. The second one missed but the carom carried to the corner. She fought off a Bison for the ball and scored a layup as the horn sounded.
Harding made 11, three-pointers in the game. Wright was 5-for-9 to go with an 8-for-8 effort from the line. She finished with a game high 25 points.
Berry had 19 points and Elizabeth Woodruff chipped in 12 points, all off four first half three-pointers. The bombs helped rally the Bison from a nine-point deficit and go up 35-34 at halftime.
The Lady Tigers placed six players in double figures led by Weber's 14 points. Cooper had 13 followed by Nikki Jones with 12. Evans, Hearn and Pete all had 10.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.