HOMEWOOD, Ala.—In the quarterfinals of the 2012 SCAC Women's Basketball Championship today at Homewood High School, Southwestern University had to survive two overtime periods and needed a runner in the lane by first-year forward Madison Eschle with 1.7 seconds remaining to earn a hard-fought 96-95 decision over Birmingham-Southern College.
The game represented the first double overtime game in the 10-year history of the SCAC women's basketball tournament and the combined 191 points are the most scored in a single tournament game.
The top seed out of the SCAC West, Southwestern (15-11) advances to play the winner of Millsaps and Trinity tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. CT, in the second women's semifinal at Bill Battle Coliseum. Birmingham-Southern ends its season at 14-12.
In a game with 11 lead changes and eight ties, Birmingham-Southern appeared to have the upper hand at the end of regulation and during the first overtime period. A free throw by junior forward Alex Adams gave Birmingham-Southern a 74-68 lead with 1:44 remaining in regulation. Southwestern, however, scored the next six points - capped by a game-tying 3-pointer by sophomore forward Chelsea Leader with 46 seconds remaining that ultimately forced overtime.
In the first extra period, Birmingham-Southern took control early, scoring the first eight points and capped by a three-pointer by Kristian Moody gave the Panthers a seven point the 81-74 with 2:37 remaining. Birmingham still led by six with 1:57 left, but a layup by Eschle, two free throws from first-year forward Jordan Owens and a steal and layup by Leader knotted the score at 83-83 with 24 seconds remaining.
Adams put back on her own miss with 12 seconds remaining to give Birmingham the 85-83 lead, but junior guard Katelyn Bartell's jumper at the elbow with five seconds left in overtime sent the game into a second extra period.
Southwestern led througout the second overtime, but Birmingham's Caroline King sank two pressure-packed free throws with 13 seconds remaining to give the Panthers their first lead of the second extra period, 95-94.
After a BSC timeout, Southwestern worked for the final shot and Eschle's runner in the lane with 1.7 tickes remaining gave the Pirates the 96-95 win.
The heroes were aplenty on both sides. Senior guard Anna Fareed hit big shot after big shot for the Pirates and led the way with a game-high 28 points. Owens followed with 25 and Leader finished with 24.
Adams led the way for Birmingham-Southern with 25 points and King followed with a double-double of 23 points and 14 rebounds. Senior forward Ashton Spurgin also posted a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Birmingham-Southern outrebounded Southwestern 56-41, but Southwestern had 10 more points off turnovers, 22-12.
Both teams shot above their season averages as Southwestern hit on 44.6 percent (33-74) of its attempts from the floor while Birmingham was successful on 42.3 percent (33-78) of its attempts.
Southwestern made one more free throw (23 to 22) on two more attempts (32 to 30).