Cierra Penn hit a 3-pointer with 17.1 seconds left in overtime for the go-ahead bucket, and the Lady Greyhounds got one final stop to preserve the 76-73 victory over the Lackawanna College (PA) Lady Falcons in the consolation bracket of the NJCAA National Tournament Thursday in Hickory, North Carolina.
But overtime would not have happened had ASU Mid-South not come back from a 9-point deficit with 8:41 left in the fourth quarter. Cierra Penn was key in the comeback as the sophomore hit a three-pointer to start a 14-4 run capped by another three-pointer from Meleanna Williams to give the Lady Greyhounds a 64-63 lead with 3:26 left in regulation. But ASU Mid-South still found themselves down by two until Keiana Delaney hit a short runner in the paint with 13.0 seconds left to tie the game 69-69, and the Lady Falcons missed a last-second shot in the paint to force overtime.
In the extra period, the Lady Greyhounds got off to a good start as Williams hit a layup in transition and Delaney hit two free throws to push the lead to 73-69. But Lackawanna then clamped down on defense and hit back-to-back layups to tie the game again at 73-73 with 33.1 seconds left. That's when the Lady Greyhounds found Penn whose shot bounced around the rim and hit the backboard before falling through, and the ASU Mid-South defense came away with another stop and a rebound to end the game.
ASU Mid-South led at the half, 40-36 after leading by as much as 10 points in the second period. Aaliyah Lee went to work as the sophomore scored 11 points in the period on an array of shots and drives. But the Lady Falcons narrowed the gap in the final minute of play, scoring off an offensive rebound, knocking down a three-pointer, and hitting 1-of-2 free throws to pull within four points at the break.
Meleanna Williams led all scorers with 23 points to go with 6 rebounds and 3 assists while Aaliyah Lee scored 22 points, pulled down 14 rebounds and collected 2 steals and a blocked shot before fouling out with 2:40 to play in the fourth quarter. Keiana Delaney scored 12 points with 10 rebounds and 3 steals, Cierra Penn finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds, and Alindavia Lockett collected 9 boards and chipped in 2 points.
The Lady Greyhounds shot just 35.9% from the field and 18.2% from the three-point line while holding Lackawanna to 33.8% shooting from the field and 26.7% from the arc while winning the battle of the boards, 58-53. However, the Lady Falcons shot 81.0% from the free throw line to ASU Mid-South's 57.1% and forced 20 Lady Greyhound turnovers to keep it close.
ASU Mid-South (23-2), seeded 7th in the tournament, now turns their attention to the third-seeded Kansas City Kansas Community College Lady Blue Devils (21-3) Friday at 11:00am (Eastern Time). The winner advances to the 7th Place game Saturday at 11:00am (ET).