Williams helps guide Tornados past regionally-ranked Carson-Newman

Box Score

Brevard, N.C. – Junior Katie Williams forced overtime with a last second three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left in regulation, before the Brevard College women’s basketball team defeated regionally-ranked Carson-Newman, 77-76, in overtime on Wednesday evening during South Atlantic Conference (SAC) action in Boshamer Gymnasium.

Carson-Newman (13-2, 7-2 SAC), which were ranked fourth in the latest D2SIDA Southeast Region poll and also receiving votes towards the national poll, entered the game leading the SAC in the standings.

After an Eagle turnover with five seconds remaining in regulation, Brevard (3-9, 2-7 SAC) quickly pushed the ball up the court before calling timeout with 1.4 seconds on the clock. The inbound pass from sophomore Madison Lenox got to Williams, who heaved up a desperation shot with a Carson-Newman defender in her face and banked a shot off the glass to tie the game at 65, as time expired.

In overtime, the Tornados quickly went up by two and its largest lead during the period was four with 2:37 remaining after Lenox knocked down a three-pointer. The Eagles answered with a three by Tatum Burstrom but the Tornados kept on hitting their foul shots to maintain the lead.

Sophomore Nicole Graham gave the Tornados their final points of the game with a three-pointer with just under a minute left. Allison Hodge brought the visitors within one with 42 seconds left. After Lenox turned the ball over with 22 seconds remaining, the Eagles had one more chance to win the game but Lenox caused a turnover with four seconds left to seal the victory.

In a game that featured 23 lead changes, including 13 in the first half, neither team led by more than five in the opening period. The teams went back and forth and Brevard built a 13-8 lead with just 5:08 gone in the opening half.

The Eagles went on a run to take a one point lead before junior Hadara Bannister broke up an almost six minute field goal drought to give the host a 15-14 lead with 9:51 left. Again the teams went back and forth as the seesaw game continued. Brevard went into the half with a 35-32 lead.

In the second half the Tornados quickly went up 39-34 but they were never out far enough to gain space. Brevard held the lead until Jai Jai McLaughlin gave the visitors a 44-43 lead with 15:38 left. Carson-Newman built a four point lead until Lenox scored four straight points, the final coming on the fast break following a steal to tie the game at 47 with just under 15 minutes left.

A key moment in the second half came when freshman Claudia Arcega blocked a shot by Kaitlyn Cupples and then on the other end of the court grabbed an offensive board before putting Brevard up 54-52 with 9:09 left. The teams were tied again at 56 with 7:52 left before the visitors went up again and continued to build momentum.

Brevard then didn’t record a field goal until Williams made a layup with 1:21 left as the guests led 63-62. McLaughlin then put the Eagles up 65-62 before Williams made her last second shot to force overtime.

Lenox was one of four Tornados in double-figures in scoring as she led all scorers with 24 points. She also led with six assists, three steals, and five rebounds. Williams had 15 points while senior Taylor Hiatt recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

Freshman Whitney DeMoss had a career-high 13 points, including 11 first half points. Graham had six points and four rebounds while Bannister finished with five points and hauled in five boards.

Jessica Simerly led the Eagles with 22 points and 10 rebounds while McLaughlin had 10 points with 12 boards. Hodge had 18 points while Whitney Kyle had six rebounds.

Brevard shot 41.7 percent from the field while holding Carson-Newman to 35.4 percent. The Eagles led with 55 rebounds compared to Brevard’s 43 and also had 31 second chance points to the hosts 11 but the Tornados had a slight 36-32 advantage on points in the paint. Brevard also had a 19-14 edge in points off turnovers.

The Tornados return to action this Saturday when they host Newberry as part of a double header. The game is slated for a 2 p.m. tip off.

Featured image courtesy of Tommy Moss.

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