The Richmond Register

February 28, 2014

OVC BASKETBALL: Lady Colonels rally falls short

By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer

RICHMOND — The Lady Colonels lost a heartbreaker 76-74 to Tennessee Tech Thursday in McBrayer Arena.

Hannah Goolsby hit two free throws for the Golden Eagles after being fouled near mid-court with only .4 seconds left on the clock.

The Lady Colonels staged a furious comeback to put themselves in a position to win the game before the late foul.

EKU (15-11, 9-6 OVC) trailed by eight, 74-66, with just 32.2 second left.

Michaela Hunter got the Lady Colonels to within 74-68 with a basket with 22.7 seconds remaining.

Pilar Walker nailed a three pointer after a Tech (12-16, 9-6 OVC) turnover to cut the margin to 74-71 with 16.5 left.

After another Tech turnover, Hunter pulled a partially blocked shot by Walker out of the air and was fouled on a shot with 4.1 seconds left.

The freshman hit both free throws to make it 74-73.

Hunter once again came up with a huge play.

She stepped in front of a Tech player on the inbounds play, intercepted the ball and was fouled going up for a shot with .4 left.

She hit the first free throw to tie it at 74-74, but missed the second and the ball was knocked out of bounds by a Lady Colonel, setting up the pivotal final call.

On the inbounds pass, the ball was lobbed near mid-court where Marie Carpenter and Goolsby got tangled up after the Tech player came down with the pass.

Carpenter was called for the foul, sending Goolsby to the line where she calmly sank the game-winners.

EKU coach Chrissy Roberts refused to blame the late foul for the loss, saying it never would have come down to that situation if the Lady Colonels had taken care of business earlier in the game.

“It didn’t come down to that last play. We had our chances but I feel like at times we took possessions off,” Roberts said. “The ball didn’t bounce our way. We fought, we dug and we got ourselves in position to win it. Sometimes we tend to relax and let our guard down in the second half and that hurt us tonight.”

EKU jumped out to a 10-4 lead only to see Tennessee Tech respond with an 11-4 run to go up 15-14.

The lead changed hands five times over the next three minutes before the Lady Colonels scored six-straight to finally began to get a little separation at 27-22 with just more than five minutes left in the half.

After TTU cut the lead down to two, 27-25, the Lady Colonels stretched it back out to six at 36-30 on a basket by Maples with 1:35.

TTU’s Catherine Taylor made it 36-33 at the half with a three pointer inside the final minute.

The Golden Eagles went on a 9-2 run early in the second half to regain a 41-40 lead with 16 minutes to go.

The lead changed hands two more times with the Lady Colonels taking their last lead 62-61 on a three pointer by Carpenter with 4:31 remaining.

From that point, TTU went on a 13-4 run to take the 74-66 lead with 32 seconds remaining, setting up the final hectic seconds.

Maples led five Lady Colonels in double figures with 19 points. Carpenter finished with 16 points, Pilar Walker had 14 points and five assists, Harper had 12 points and eight rebounds and Michaela Hunter added 10 points and four rebounds off the bench.

Mariah Massengill had three points and two assists.

Roberts said losing the game the way the Lady Colonels did hurt, but with the season-finale against Tennessee State on Saturday, there was no time to dwell on it.

“My feeling is this loss hurt. But we have another game to play. We don’t have time to hurt,” Roberts said. “We’ve got to take care of Business on Saturday and see what we can get done in Nashville.

Tip-off for the Senior Night contest between the Lady Colonels and Lady Tigers on Saturday is 4:30 p.m. Senior night ceremonies will take place before the game.