The Lady Bruins lost to the Point University Skyhawks 65-75 in an overtime thriller Friday in the NCCAA South Regional semifinal game.
After winning 11 of their last 13 games in the regular season, the Lady Bruins traveled to West Point, Georgia, to take part in the tournament.
They received the third seed while Point University, the host school, was second seed.
The Bruins and the Skyhawks had faced off in BJU’s second game of the season at the Tip-Off Tournament that was also hosted by Point University. The Bruins lost in that matchup 66-69.
This time around, Point University began the game with a 10-2 run. Dereese Owens, a combo guard from Nashville, Tennessee, ran their offense extremely well from the point.
The Bruins, however, got right back into the game due to Sha’Ron Brunson’s hot hand. At the end of the first quarter the Bruins were only down 18-11.
The Skyhawks came out strong in the second quarter, going on a 14-2 run to make the score 32-13. The game was quickly getting out of hand, but the Bruins would not give up.
They began to focus solely on their post-play, working the ball down low to Brianna Delaney and Kendra Jeffcott.
They led the Bruins on a 15-0 run at the end of the half to get the Bruins back into the game. At halftime, the score was 32-28.
The Bruins’ momentum continued into the second half. Both teams played rough and battled. BJU continued the comeback and eventually took the lead.
With time expiring in the third quarter, Delaney hit a three-pointer to make the score 46-40.
The Bruins had held the Skyhawks to just eight points in the third.
To get to the regional championship, the Bruins just had to hold on for 10 minutes. They began the fourth quarter on a 7-1 run, highlighted by a three -pointer from Maggi Ford.
After a timeout, the Skyhawks began to play with a different fervor.
Their offense caught fire, and they found themselves down by just three with just a few seconds left.
The Skyhawks went to Owens for the final shot.
Despite a broken play, Owens threw up a fade-away shot that somehow fell, tying the game at 71-71 to force overtime.
The shot devastated the Bruins going into overtime.
With momentum from their comeback and home court advantage, the Skyhawks dominated overtime. The Skyhawks outscored the Bruins 14-4, winning the game 75-65.
Owens, the hero for Point University, ended the game with 20 points.
“This was a really tough loss for us,” Coach Mike LeViere said. “While we are disappointed, to compete with Point and push them to overtime says a lot about our team. Our ladies competed all year long, and we were one play away from going to our second straight region championship.
“We can’t fault our effort, and our team can sleep well knowing they gave it their all!”
Brianna Delaney finished with 13 points and 19 rebounds. Jeffcott also had a double double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Bruins finished the memorable year at 19-12.