March 14, 2008
Brue Sinks 40-footer to Win by One in Overtime
CANYON, Texas - Meghan Brue sank a 40-footer at the buzzer to stun top-seeded and 10th-ranked West Texas A&M 72-71 in overtime to advance to the regional semifinal tomorrow at 8 p.m. against Emporia State. It's the first home loss for the Lady Buffs in more than three years, ending a 45-game streak.
Northwest continues its season, now 18-13, and ends the Lady Buffs season at 26-5.
Both teams struggled early offensively, tied 2-2 at the 16:46 mark in the first half. West Texas A&M missed its first three shots and Northwest turned it over four times.
A Mandi Schumacher layup with 9:20 left gave Northwest a 13-12 lead. The Lady Buffs would go on a 14-2 run over the next eight minutes and head into the locker room with a comfortable 32-19 edge.
The Bearcats' 13-point halftime deficit grew to 16 points three-and-a-half minutes into the second half and forced a Bearcat timeout. The Bearcats would chip away at the large margin, thanks in part to 17 second-half points from Jessica Burton. A 9-3 run, capped by two Kelli Nelson treys in 12 seconds, got the Bearcats within three points, 47-44, with 8:59 remaining.
A Schumacher jumper gave Northwest its first second-half lead, 51-50, at the 6:03 mark. The Lady Buffs would counter with a 9-0 run and led by eight, 59-51, with 3:38 left.
With 36 seconds left and West Texas A&M leading by two points, 61-59, April Miller took a charge and gave Northwest an opportunity knot up the game. Burton answered on a game-tying layup with 22 seconds remaining.
A missed three-pointer by the Lady Buffs and a Miller rebound forced overtime.
Brue hit back-to-back 3-pointers to begin the extra frame which gave Northwest a 67-61 lead. West Texas A&M responded, knocking down a 3-pointer and three free throws to tie the game at 67.
West Texas' Emily Brister and Burton traded a pair of free throws to knot the game at 69. Courtney Lee then rebounded a missed jumper and knocked down a 10-footer to give West Texas A&M a 71-69 lead with two seconds remaining.
Northwest head coach Gene Steinmeyer called timeout and set up the game-winning play. Off the pass from Miller, Brue fumbled the ball at half court, then regained control and swished the 40-footer to move Northwest into the regional semifinals.
Schumacher finished with her ninth double-double of the season, 17 points and 14 boards, tying a career-high on the glass. Burton posted a season-high 19 points, all coming in the second half and overtime. Brue knocked down two of her three treys in the extra period and posted 17 points.
• Northwest is now 2-4 all-time in the NCAA tournament
• It's the first victory for Northwest against West Texas A&M, now 1-4 all-time.
• Coach Gene Steinmeyer picked up his first career NCAA postseason victory.
• It' just the second time in school history Northwest has advanced into to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The other time came in 1984.
Steinmeyer's opening comments
"These kids really came through, they never quit. They've been playing great defense."
Momentum coming off the MIAA Tournament
"The fact that there wasn't much turnaround. Sunday and then Wednesday we are on an airplane. Last year when the game was in St. Joe it just never had
"We had momentum; we knew how it felt to play that physical. We haven't been that physical since these guys have been freshman."
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