February 25, 2012

Winthrop Outlasts Women’s Basketball in Overtime 67-66

BUIES CREEK, N.C.-Samiya Wright's jumper with less than a second remaining lifted Winthrop over Campbell in overtime 67-66 in Big South women's basketball action Saturday afternoon in Gilbert Craig Gore Arena.

Winthrop improves to 16-11 on the season and 10-5 in Big South games with its fifth straight win. Campbell dips to 15-11 overall and 8-7 in league play, ending a three game winning streak.

Down six with 5:36 to play in regulation, the Lady Camels clawed back within two on a Jazmine Cooper bucket with 1:06 on the clock. After a Winthrop misfire, Tonisha Baker knotted the game and forced overtime with her short jumper in the lane, tying the score at 58-all with 9 seconds remaining.

In the overtime period, freshman Kiera Gaines gave Campbell its first lead since 1:15 in the first half with a runner in the paint. After Katelyn Bass' layup gave the Lady Camels a three points lead at 62-59, Winthrop's Dequesha McClanahan connected on a basket, and-one, tying the contest for the eighth time on the afternoon.

With 2:33 to play in overtime, Kate Cloxton found Jazmine Cooper under the basket for two, giving the Lady Camels the lead again, 64-62. McClanahan then put Winthrop back on top, hitting both of her free throw attempts.

With 22 seconds to play, Katelyn Bass tossed in a layup, pushing Campbell into the lead, 66-65. On the next possession, Winthrop missed its initial attempt, but the ball skipped out of bounds off a Campbell player, giving the Eagles one last attempt with 3 seconds on the clock. Off the inbound, Samiya Wright caught the ball on the left side, just in front of the three point line, and knocked in the game-winning jumper for Winthrop, 67-66.

Wright finished with 14 in the game, adding three steals. Diana Choibekova led all scorers with 22 points, posting 19 in the first half alone. The junior guard also posted seven boards in the win. McClanahan tallied 21, including six in the extra period, with 13 rebounds and eight assists.

Jazmine Cooper led Campbell with 18 points, tying a career high, while chipping in seven boards and three steals. Tonisha Baker posted 13 points and 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the year, adding five assists, two steals and two blocks. Senior forward Katelyn Bass also notched a double-double, her second in a row and third this season, with 10 points and 16 rebounds.

Kiera Gaines and Roslyn Presley both recorded nine points off the bench, with Gaines adding four rebounds and three steals on the day.

Campbell outscored Winthrop 42-20 in the paint and 20-4 in bench points, also converting 19 Eagle turnovers into 15 points.

The Lady Camels led by as many as 11 in the first half after holding Winthrop to just 13-of-41 (31.7 percent) in the opening stanza. The Eagles, however, closed the last eight minutes of the half with a 20-7 run, taking a 35-33 lead into the break after two Choibekova free throws.

The Eagles led by as many as seven in the second, allowing Campbell to tie it twice, including Baker's jumper at the end of regulation, but never relinquished the lead through the frame.

The Lady Camels will wrap up the home portion of their schedule on Monday, hosting Presbyterian at 7 p.m. The game will be recognized as Senior Night, and will be the final home game for Katelyn Bass, Kate Cloxton and Amanda O'Neill.