Posted: Jan 26, 2013 7:23 PM
Updated: Jan 26, 2013 9:48 PM
PERU, NE - Peru State scored the first 10 points of overtime to knock off No. 23 Central Methodist 69-63 Saturday afternoon in the Al Wheeler Activity Center in Heart of America Athletic Conference women's basketball action.
The first half was tight for the entire 20 minutes as the largest lead was six by the Bobcats (11-12, 6-5 HAAC) when they had a 23-17 lead with 6:13 left in the half.
Courtney Ward put the Bobcats on the board first as she grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in with just 14 ticks off the clock. It would be over two minutes before either team would score. With 17:43 remaining, the Eagles (18-4, 7-4 HAAC) tied the game on a jumper from Towanda Sutton
It was back and forth before Karlee Stuart hit a three-pointer on the assist from Jasmine Tate to make the score 15-10 in favor of the home team with 12:10 to go. Later, at the 6:13 mark, a bucket by Natasha Moss gave the Bobcats their largest lead of the half, 23-17.
Central Methodist whittled the deficit to three points, 23-20, following a three by Sammie Gathercole, but Peru State took a 28-24 edge into intermission.
In the second half, the Bobcats built a 37-29 lead after Adaugo Osuala hit a fastbreak bucket on an assist from Ward coming at the 16:01 mark.
The Eagles, spurred by eight combined points from Britney Joseph and Jasmine Poteete, answered with a 10-2 run to tie the game at 39-all with 11:11 left in the half. A free throw by Ward put Peru State back on top 40-39, but Central Methodist's Nakia Robinson found Taylor Cornelison in the post for an easy bucket to give the visitors just their third lead of the game, 41-40, with just under nine left in the game.
Moss hit a three-pointer with 8:12 left to put Peru State back on top 43-41. A pair of Central Methodist free throws to tie the contest was countered by a drive in the lane by Jasmine Lockwood, putting the Bobcats back up 45-43 at the 7:29 point.
The battle during the last seven minutes of regulation included three ties and the Eagles erasing a six-point deficit with 5:08 to play. Joseph converted two free throws to tie the game 55-all with 30 seconds left. A Bobcat miss led to a chance for the Eagles to win, but a 17-foot jumper missed the mark and rolled out, forcing overtime.
The Eagles won the overtime tip, but Peru State forced a turnover. On the Bobcats' first time down the court, Tate got the ball inside to Ward, who put the ball in with 4:36 left in the extra period, giving Peru State a two-point lead that led to a 10-0 spurt.
Central Methodist's Brooke Paulsell hit back-to-back buckets from distance to trim the difference to four points at 65-61 with 39 seconds left in the game, but the Eagles could get no closer.
Osuala led Peru State offensively with 15 points and a game-high eight steals. Moss added 14 points. Ward tallied 12 points and nine rebounds.
Joseph and Poteete dominated play for the Eagles, each posting double-doubles. Joseph ended with 15 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, the most since Becca Rogers posted a school-record 25 against Missouri Valley on Dec. 1, 1999. Saturday also marked the Houston, Texas, native's 11th game this season of double-digit rebounds. Poteete pumped in 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Sutton added seven points and nine rebounds, as Central Methodist dominated the glass 53-36. However, the Eagles committed a season-high 34 turnovers compared to only 20 by Peru State.
Central Methodist hosts No. 10 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) Saturday, Feb. 2. The Eagles will sponsor two promotions, Bill Holman Day and the first annual Blow Pop Game, that day with tip-off inside Puckett Fieldhouse set for 2 p.m. CT.