Athens, TN-The game had some strange twists, but when all was said and done, the Tennesssee Wesleyan College women came away with their fifth straight win Tuesday night, defeating visiting Brevard College (North Carolina), 79-75 in overtime. The Lady Bulldogs never trailed in the first half and never led during regulation after falling behind early in the second half.
Wesleyan had 10 fewer turnovers, did an adequate job of rebounding and had balance in scoring with four players in double figures, but shot just over 30 percent from the floor in regulation before canning five of eight shots (62 percent) to pull out the victory.
After taking an early lead, the Lady 'Dogs scored just 19 points over the next 16 minutes to turn a nine-point advantage into a 10-point deficit. TWC rallied and red-shirt freshman Heather Gibson drained a three-pointer as time expired to tie the score at 65 and force overtime. Lindsey Jackson then capped a 21-point night with her sixth '3' of the game to seal the win with 19 seconds left in the extra period.
"Overall, we played pretty well - we got good looks (at the basket), but just couldn't get anything to fall," said Wesleyan Coach Jeff Rice. "To the girls' credit, they kept grinding away and found a way to get the job done."
Amy Jo Castor, Ashton Burrell, Gibson, Jackson and Katie Blevins all hit 3-point goals in the first half, but the Lady Bulldogs saw an 18-9 lead shrink to a single bucket at 28-26 by the intermission.
Wesleyan's shooting woes continued into the second half as Brevard forged in front 47-37 with 14:06 to play. Blevins had a '3' among six points and Jackson's trey with 10:06 remaining knotted the score at 51. Another dry spell, however, allowed Brevard to open an eight-point gap at the 4:11 mark.
The Lady Bulldogs held he visitors to just two free throws from there while Ragan Elliott and Candance Cain connected from the free throw line and Jackson nailed a three-pointer to set up Gibson's dramatic bucket at the buzzer.
Trailing 72-70, Elliott converted an offensive rebound into a three-point play and followed a Brevard turnover with a layup, boosting the margin to three.
Jackson's final three-pointer and free throw in the closing seconds preserved the victory.
Jackson netted 21 points, Castor 13, Blevins 12 and Elliott 11 to go with a team-high 11 rebounds.