Buzzer-beater helps propel Tusculum to 81-71 double-overtime win

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — Tusculum College outscored Brevard College 14-4 in the second overtime period as the Pioneers rallied for a 81-71 victory Wednesday night in South Atlantic Conference women’s basketball action at Pioneer Arena.


The Pioneers’ Callie Patterson hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the first overtime to send the game to a second extra period, after the Tornados’ Cienna Bryant hit a basket as time expired in regulation to send the game into overtime.


Patterson equaled her career high with 17 points and had a career-best eight rebounds in 45 minutes off the bench for the Pioneers, while Kasey Johnson scored all of her team-high 25 points in the second half and matched her career high with 13 rebounds as Tusculum (4-13, 3-10 SAC) overcame a 11-point second-half deficit thanks to a 60-38 advantage in rebounding.


Madison Lenox and AnnaLee Bollinger shared the team high for Brevard with 26 points apiece, as the Tornados (5-12, 1-12 SAC) held the lead for most of the game despite dressing just five players. Bryant had 11 points for Brevard, while D’Naya Wilson had a team-best 10 rebounds.


The Pioneers put four players in double figures, as Benedicta Makakala had 12 points along with nine rebounds, a career-high seven assists and seven steals. Jasmine Queen also reached double figures for Tusculum with 11 points, including a jumper with 2.4 seconds left in regulation that gave the Pioneers a 58-56 lead. However, Bryant scored at the other end as time expired to send the game into overtime.


Tusculum took the lead at 61-58 on the opening possession of overtime on a three-pointer by Patterson, but a pair of three-pointers from Bollinger brought the Tornados back to a 64-64 tie with 39 seconds left. After a Tusculum turnover, Lenox drilled a three-pointer with 1.3 seconds left that put Brevard up 67-64. Following a timeout that allowed Tusculum to advance the ball to midcourt, Patterson took an inbounds pass from Makakala and buried the tying three-pointer as time ran out to send the game to a second overtime tied at 67.


In the second extra period, Tusculum scored the first seven points on a layup by Johnson, a three-pointer from Makakala and a jumper by Johnson which gave the Pioneers a 74-67 lead with 2:24 left. Brevard would pull within five twice on a layup by Lenox and two foul shots from Bollinger, but the Pioneers went 7-for-8 at the foul line in the final 1:13 to seal the win, which was Tusculum’s first multiple-overtime victory since a 97-94 triple-overtime win at Newberry on Feb. 9, 2000.


The first quarter of the game featured six ties and five lead changes, and ended with the teams knotted at 17-17. Bollinger hit a pair of three-pointers and scored eight points to lead the Tornados, while Patterson shot 3-for-4 from the field and had seven points for the Pioneers.


After a basket by Jasmine Williams tied the game at 19-19 in the opening minute of the second quarter, the Tornados went on a 9-0 run that was capped by a three-pointer from Bollinger which gave Brevard a 28-19 lead with 5:04 left in the half. Bollinger wrapped up a 13-point performance in the first half with a layup off a steal in the final seconds which sent the Tornados to the locker room with a 32-25 lead.


Lenox had nine points, four assists and three steals in the first half for the Tornados, who shot 37 percent (10-for-27) from the field in the opening half. Tusculum shot 29.7 percent (11-for-37) but outrebounded Brevard 26-18 in the opening half. Patterson led the way with nine points for the Pioneers while Sydney Wilson had seven points and three rebounds.


In the third quarter, the Pioneers trailed by nine but scored eight straight points to pull within 34-33 on a jumper by Makakala with 6:00 left in the third quarter. However, the Tornados answered with 10 in a row to take their largest lead of the game at 44-33 on a foul shot by Lenox with 1:30 left in the quarter. Two free throws by Maelyn Head with three seconds left brought the Pioneers to within 46-39 heading into the final period.


Tusculum tied the game at 46-46 on a layup by Johnson with 6:33 to go, but a three-pointer by Bollinger restored the Tornados’ lead at 49-46 with 5:16 left. Back-to-back layups by Makakala and Johnson gave the Pioneers their first lead since the opening minutes at 50-49 with 4:27 to go, but Bryant nailed a three-pointer to spark a 7-2 Tornados run that put Brevard up 56-52 with 2:40 left.


The Pioneers battled back to tie the game at 56-56 on a jumper by Queen with 44.9 seconds left, and a miss at the other end gave Tusculum a chance to take the lead. Queen answered with a baseline jumper with 2.4 seconds to play that put the Pioneers up 58-56, but Lenox found Bryant on an inbounds pass and she scored in the paint as time ran out to force overtime.


In addition to her 11 points, Queen also had a career-high five assists as she played all 20 minutes from the start of the fourth quarter through overtime. Head finished with five points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Pioneers, while Williams had eight rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots in 18 minutes off the bench.


Tusculum’s 60 rebounds were its most since having 60 boards against West Liberty on Dec. 1, 2014. Johnson posted her eighth career double-double and fourth of the season despite being limited to five minutes in the first half due to foul troubles. Johnson scored eight points in the third quarter, 11 in the fourth and six more in overtime for the Pioneers, finishing 11-for-18 from the field.


Lenox went 8-for-26 from the field for the Tornados, but supplemented her numbers by going 9-for-15 at the foul line, along with nine rebounds, seven assists and five steals. Lynsey Crisp played the final 3:52 of regulation and all of overtime with four fouls, putting the Tornados in danger of having to play four against five, but still finished with six points and eight rebounds.


Tusculum finished the game 31-for-82 from the field (37.8 percent), including 6-for-11 in overtime, and went 7-for-20 on three-pointers and 12-for-14 at the foul line. Brevard was 10-for-25 from beyond the arc, part of a 23-for-65 performance (35.4 percent) from the field, and finished 15-for-22 at the stripe. Both teams had 14 turnovers and scored 13 points off the opponent’s miscues, while Tusculum had a 36-26 edge in points in the paint.


The Pioneers will return to the road on Saturday at Wingate for a 2 p.m. matchup with the Bulldogs. Wingate defeated Tusculum 73-48 in the teams’ first meeting of the season at Pioneer Arena on Nov. 19.



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