Updated Sat, Jan 11, 2014 10:33 pm
The Rio Grande women’s basketball team (13-4, 2-3) ended a two-game losing streak Saturday when it defeated the Shawnee State Bears (8-8, 1-4) at home in a 112-108 overtime thriller.
The Bears continued led throughout the final minutes of the game, holding an 89-82 lead with just under three minutes left in regulation. The RedStorm went on a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to one basket.
What would ensue next can only be described as mayhem. After being called for a defensive foul, Rio was whistled for a technical foul. The Bears hit three out of the four free throws to go up 93-89 with 31 seconds to play. Shawnee State put on a half-court press led by Allanah Sheets. The senior guard went for a steal attempt and was in turn whistled for her fifth foul.
The foul caused Sheets to be knocked to the floor, prompting her mother to come out onto the court to check on her health. But with a parent out on the court, Shawnee State was whistled for a bench technical. This gave Rio Grande four straight free throws. Brianna Thomas hit them all to tie the game at 93.
Rio Grande came up with a steal on the next possession and had the ball for a potential game-winning bucket. Payne was fouled on a layup attempt and went to the line to shoot two with six seconds to play. Payne missed the first but connected on the second free throw.
Shawnee State rushed up the court and put up a contested three. The shot was no good, but sophomore forward Ali Zieverink came up with the offensive rebound and was fouled on the put-back with 0.5 seconds remaining. Down one, Zieverink had a chance to win the game for the Bears. But the sophomore forward made the first and missed the second to send the two teams into overtime, knotted up at 94.
Rio Grande opened up the overtime period with a quick 6-0 run, and took a 100-94 lead. The RedStorm never relinquished their lead throughout overtime and closed out the Bears 112-108.
The rivalry matchup lived up to all the hype. The high-scoring affair saw five RedStorm players reach double figures in scoring, but none of them matched the production of Shawnee State senior guard Allanah Sheets. Sheets played over 39 minutes straight before fouling out in the final minute of regulation. This was not before the senior tallied 45 points on the night, finishing three points shy of a school record.
Junior guard Brianna Thomas paced the RedStorm, scoring a team-high 29 points and adding four assists. Freshman forward Brooke Marcum was not far behind Thomas, finishing with 23 points and a team-high three steals. Freshman forward Alexis Payne added 15 points and freshman guard Sharday Baines finished with 14 points.
Rio dominated inside both in regulation and overtime, outrebounding Shawnee State 59-46.
The RedStorm will remain at home for its next matchup. Rio Grande takes on conference foe St. Catherine College on Jan. 16. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.