81-75 overtime win
| Michael Bauer sports editor |
It was deja’ vu for sophomore Cathy Brugman. She didn’t need to be reminded about what happened the last time she went to the free-throw line in the closing minutes against Emporia State.
The meeting between the two nationally ranked teams on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at John Lance Arena took place in front of a boisterous crowd.
The last time Brugman shot from the line against ESU, she missed two free throws with 1.7 seconds left, allowing the Hornets to win by two.
This time, as fate would have it, Brugman walked to the charity stripe again with PSU trailing by two and five seconds left on the clock.
Brugman made both free throws sending the Gorillas into overtime and eventually, an 81-75 victory.
“The whole atmosphere was going through my head (at the line) and I couldn’t let the team down,” Brugman said.
Lane Lord, head coach, says many people stepped up tonight.
“We found a way,” he said. “From the 10 minute mark we got back into the game. We’ve got a pretty good basketball team.”
Brugman led the Gorillas with 22 points while junior Antqunita Reed came off the bench to score 20.
“We all just believed in each other,” Reed said. “We just kept fighting and stuck to the game plan.”
It was a game where nearly everything went wrong for the Gorillas.
Junior Lizzy Jeronimus scored only nine points and was in foul trouble for most of the night. The Hornets controlled the majority of the game, but the Gorillas persevered.
“It means a lot to us,” Brugman said. “It says so much about our group. We showed a lot of resiliency. We just kept fighting.”
A lay-up by Laura Patrick completed a 7-0 run by the Hornets in the opening three minutes before Brugman’s insider put the Gorillas on the board.
Patrick hit back-to-back 3-point baskets and ESU took a 13-2 lead with 16:02 before the Gorillas called a time out.
“Emporia’s got a great basketball team,” Lord said. “We just hung around. It was a big win for our program but we’ve had bigger.”
Reed made a living from the charity stripe, scoring 10 points from the free-throw line in the first 15 minutes.
“After Lizzy got in foul trouble, someone had to step up,” Reed said.
But the Gorillas could not get much closer than three points during the first half. The Hornets led by 10 at the break and started the second half with a 9-2 scoring run.
Each time the Gorillas tried to get something going, the Hornets had a response.
Jeronimus suddenly sprung to life with a basket for her fourth point and followed with a block that turned into a lay-up for Brugman and PSU narrowed the deficit to 11 with 11:30 left.
Westhoff made it an 8-point game with 9:54 left after hitting a wide-open jumper.
Senior Alex Muff’s eighth point of the night was in the form of a lay-up and the Gorillas trailed by only five.
Westhoff scored an insider to make it a one-possession game before Patrick gave an all too familar response from the outside and a lay-up, forcing a PSU timeout with 5:38 remaining.
After Jeronimus missed a lay-up first Gafford’s rebound and pass to Brugman from the outside led to a 3-pointer and the Gorillas only trailed 71-67 with less than a minute.
The Gorillas missed an outside shot, but Egil Rheanna turned the ball over and Reed took advantage with a deuce to bring PSU to within two with 23.1 seconds.
Patrick tried to ice the game with an outside shot but couldn’t finish, and Brugman grabbed the rebound and eventually tied the game.
For the Gorillas, the victory was a statement.
“It’s really a big win,” Reed said. “We can play with anybody. We’re excited to keep this momentum going.”
PSU will next face Washburn at home for senior day at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at John Lance Arena.