Today: Jun 17, 2024

Women’s basketball clipped by Warriors in overtime

Photo Courtesy | Mark Tibor Senior Camille Fantini finished with eight points, one assist, and three steals in Saturday’s overtime loss to Merrimack.

Bobby Martinez – Staff Writer

The Owls have been struggling lately, came into Saturday losing four straight games. Owls (4-10, 1-10 NE-10) who came into Saturday’s matchup against Merrimack College, started off the game with great intensity and defensive pressure.  In the first five minutes of the first half, the Owls defensive pressure led to quick fast break baskets.

Merrimack had no answer early in the game, with the Owls’ ball movement that led to easy wide open jump shots.

Katie Stopera and Moni-Smith Ocran were both aggressive on both sides of the ball, that helped spark an early 15-9 lead. Ocran controlled the boards on both sides of the court and converting them into baskets.

Late in the first half, the Owls’ turnovers allowed Merrimack to make runs, trimming the lead to six with 5:34 left (29-23). The Owls key to their lead was controlling the ball and passing well, towards the end of the first half the owls began turning the ball over and missing open opportunities.

Photo Courtesy | Mark TiborSenior Camille Fantini finished with eight points, one assist, and three steals in Saturday’s overtime loss to Merrimack.
Photo Courtesy | Mark Tibor
Senior Camille Fantini finished with eight points, one assist, and three steals in Saturday’s overtime loss to Merrimack.

The Owls went into the half with a 34-27 lead. Jackie Beathea scored a quick layup giving the Owls a seven-point lead. But as time went on the Owls continued to commit turnovers. The Owls led by one point and gave Merrimack open jump shots.

In the first half the Owls received help from the three-point line making 5-9. Merrimack went 2-10.

In the second half, the Owls went 0-5 and Merrimack went 4-11 with open three pointers from Chloe Rothman who went for 34 points on the afternoon.

At the 9:55 mark, the game was tied at 50, but Merrimack was able to beat Southern’s press defense culminating in a four point lead with 4:41 remaining in regulation.

Ocran continued to control the boards, while putting up points to help bring the Owls to a tie game at 59-59.

With one-minute left, the game was tied at 61 all until Mariah Hankton stole the ball for a fast break layup giving the owls a 63-61 lead with 41 seconds left.

The Owls came out of the time out with full-court pressure and Stopera came up with a steal and was sent to the line for two. Stopera made 1-2 giving the Owls a three-point lead with 25 seconds left.

After the timeout, Chloe Rothman came down the court and made a three pointer to tie the game with 15.9 seconds left.

“We had too many mental lapses,” Hankton said. “We kind of got tired at the end of the game, and I think that really hurt us.”

The Owls called a timeout to draw a potential game winning play. Off the timeout, Hankton missed a runner with three seconds left sending the game into overtime.

In overtime, missed free throws and layups caused the Owls to lose their fifth straight game.

“Basketball is a game of runs, I think if things don’t go our way we need to learn how to play through that and play hard,” Head Coach Meghan Brown said.

The Owls fought throughout the game but couldn’t capitalize on open chances to maintain a good lead to help them win. Brown said the effort wasn’t consistently there.

“People need to step up and do their roles, too often they take breaks and we don’t go as hard all the time and our bench needs to be ready. We need to do this together and be determined,” Brown said.

Senior captain Camille Fantini said, the team needs to continue to work hard in order to end their losing streak.

“Right now, we have to continue to go after it,” Fantini said. “We have to push every single day and make each other better. Hopefully next game we can come out with a win.”

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