Courtesy: Emporia State Athletics
December 30, 2017-The Lady Hornets overcame a 13 point first half deficit on the way to an 82-75 overtime win over Pittsburg State in non-conference action at White Auditorium on Saturday afternoon.
Marissa Preston hit two three-pointers to give Emporia State a 6-5 lead 90 seconds into the game, but they would be the only field goals of the opening period for the Lady Hornets. Pittsburg State would use an 8-0 run to take a 13-6 lead with 5:00 left in the quarter. Emporia State hit seven of eight free throws in the quarter as they trailed the Gorillas 21-13 at the end of the period.
The Gorillas pushed the lead to 12 points at 29-17 on a Mikaela Burgess three-pointer with 8:01 left in the second quarter. The Lady Hornets responded with an 8-0 run of their own to pull within 29-25 with 6:06 left in the half on a Tyra Jones layup. Emporia State then gave up a 10-1 run as Pitt State took their biggest lead of the day at 39-26 with 3:58 left in the half. Preston and Madison Ralston combined to score ten points for the Lady Hornets in a 13-2 run that cut the deficit to 41-39 with 19 seconds left in the half. The Gorillas got a free throw from Athena Alvarado with five seconds left to make it 42-39 at the break.
Jones scored the first four points of the second half to give Emporia State a 43-42 lead 31 seconds into the third quarter. Jones picked up her third foul of the game with 8:34 left in the quarter and Elena Flott hit a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to give the Gorillas a 47-43 lead. The Lady Hornets would retake the lead with 4:26 left in the third on a Jacee Kramer three-pointer to go up 54-52. There would be five lead changes and two ties over the final four minutes of the third with Pitt State taking a 59-58 lead into the fourth quarter on a pair of Paige Imhoff free throws with 1:35 left.
The fourth quarter saw seven lead changes as neither team took more than a three pointe lead in the final ten minutes of regulation. Jones again scored the first four points of the fourth quarter for the Lady Hornets, this time sandwiched around a Burgess jumper, to give Emporia State a 62-61 lead with 8:53 remaining. Emily Miller, who had missed her first five shots, connected on a layup with 4:16 left to give Emporia State a 68-67 lead and then stretched it three points with 2:01 remaining on another layup.
Emporia State had the ball and a three-point lead with 54 seconds left when Preston was called for an offensive foul in the back court. Burgess missed a three-pointer with 48 seconds left and Tatum Graves grabbed the rebound momentarily before Imhoff was able to steal it and hit a layup with 41 seconds left to bring the Gorillas within 70-69. With the shot clock winding down Preston missed a three-pointer for the Lady Hornets and Jessica Wayne was whistled for a foul going after the loose ball. With 3.7 seconds left Alvarado hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 70 and send it to overtime.
The extra frame belonged to Emporia State starting with a three-pointer from Miller 15 seconds in. Alvarado pulled the Gorillas within a point with 4:15 left before the Lady Hornets went on a 9-0 run to take an 82-72 lead. Jones started the run with a layup with 3:57 left and then pulled a defensive rebound on the Gorillas possession. Miller hit a jumper with 3:09 remaining and Jones again cleaned the glass on the defensive end. Kramer scored inside with 2:12 left to make it 79-72. Jones grabbed another defensive rebound on the other end before Miller sealed the game with a dagger three-pointer as the shot clock was set to expire for a ten point lead with 1:33 remaining. The Gorillas would get another three from Burgess with 38 seconds left to cut make it 82-75. Jones turned the ball over with 17 seconds left but pulled her fifth defensive rebound of the overtime on a missed three by Imhoff with 12 seconds left to ice the game.
Marissa Preston scored a career high 19 points, 16 of which came in the first half, to lead four Lady Hornets in double figures. Tyra Jones recorded her fourth double-double of the year, finishing with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Emily Miller hit five of her last seven shot to finish with 12 points and Jacee Kramer had ten for Emporia State. The Lady Hornets outrebounded the Gorillas 52-35 with an 18-7 advantage in the fourth quarter and overtime. Jones was joined in double figures by Morgan Laudan with 12 boards.
The Lady Hornets will have a week before heading to Topeka to take on Washburn in the 100th women’s basketball Turnpike Tussle. Tip-off from Lee Arena is set for 5:00 p.m. on January 6.
The win was Emporia State’s 25th straight in White Auditorium, the second longest home court winning streak in Lady Hornet history and the third longest active streak in the nation.