(Pittsburg, Kan.) —The sixth-ranked Jennies erased a four-point deficit with 1:25 left in overtime to shock the Pittsburg State Gorillas, 88-86 at the John Lance Arena on Thursday night.
Strong performances from seniors BreAnna Lewis (26 points) and Keuna Flax (25 points, 15 rebounds) helped the Jennies (12-1, 6-0 MIAA) extend their winning streak to seven games and reach the program’s first 6-0 conference start since the 1990-91 season. Lewis’ 26 points set a new season high, while Flax picked up her fourth double-double this season, while establishing a new career best with 15 boards.
UCM fell behind early, 17-10 less than six minutes into the contest. A 9-2 run, led by five points from Lewis, knotted the game at 19-19 with 12:29 remaining in the opening half.
The Gorillas (10-4, 3-1 MIAA) responded with a 9-2 stretch of their own to go back up by seven, but Flax collected seven points in under four minutes en route to a 9-3 run by UCM to cut the deficit to 31-30 with 4:38 left before halftime.
The two foes exchanged leads three times before a tip-in by Antqunita Reed evened the score at 35 apiece. The Jennies ended the half on a 7-3 run following a pair of jumpers from Flax and Prairie Chief and a three-pointer from Lewis, to take a 42-38 lead into intermission.
UCM gained some separation, taking an eight-point lead in the first two minutes of the second half, but Pittsburg State chipped away, cutting the Jennies’ lead to one following a jumper by Lizzy Jeronimus with 12:10 left in regulation.
The Jennies’ lead ballooned back to seven over the next 2:41, capped off by a jumper from Revonnia Howard, putting UCM back in the driver’s seat with a 62-55 lead. However, the Gorillas fought back over the next 4:57, slicing the Jennies’ lead to two points at 66-64,
With under 30 seconds in regulation, the Jennies held a five-point lead, but Lewis fouled Brigit Hesser, who made the first of two free throws. The second free throw was no good, but Hesser rebounded her own missed shot and found Cathy Brugman who splashed a three-pointer, pulling the Gorillas to within 75-74 with nine seconds left.
Pittsburg State re-gained possession and the lead after Lewis turned the ball over to Y’Cedria Devers who was fouled by Flax. Devers split a pair of free throws to even the game at 75-75, sending the contest into overtime.
The Jennies fell behind 82-77 in the extra session, but pulled to within one at 82-81 after a three-pointer by Lewis and a free throw by Winkelmann. Brugman scored four quick points to help give the Gorillas an 86-82 lead with 1:25 remaining.
On the ensuing Jennies’ possession, Quinnecia Twine missed a three-pointer, but Breonna Embray grabbed the offensive board and sank a three from the top of the circle, cutting the Gorillas’ lead to 86-85 with 42 seconds left.
Flax blocked Brugman’s shot on the next Pittsburg State possession and was fouled by Brugman with 14 seconds on the clock. She knocked down two free throws to put UCM ahead, 87-86.
The Jennies made the game’s final defensive stop following a missed turnaround jumper by Jeronimus with three seconds remaining in overtime. Lewis, who grabbed the final rebound and was fouled, split the pair of free throws, securing the 88-86 road win for UCM.
The Jennies are off to their best road start (5-1) since the 2004-05 season when they won their first seven games away from the Multipurpose Building. The team is off to their second-straight 12-1 start.
UCM will make its way to Emporia to play the Lady Hornets (15-0, 6-0 MIAA) on Saturday, Jan. 11 for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff, setting up a battle for sole-possession of first-place in the MIAA.