TORRINGTON – The Eastern Wyoming College Lady Lancers capped off three games in four days with a thrilling 93-92 double overtime victory over Northeastern Junior College on Monday evening.
The trio of wins pushes the Lady Lancer record to 13-1 heading into Christmas break.
On Monday, EWC’s first five possessions resulted in four missed shots – including two layups – and a turnover.
During that time frame, the Northeastern jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
The Plainsmen lead grew to as many as 32-21 midway through the second quarter.
“We left a lot of points out there,” EWC coach Tom Andersen said. “We missed a lot of layups and free throws. We fought back. They shot the ball really well from the 3-point line. We were trading 2s for 3s for a while.”
Sophomore Nicole Cutler sparked a rally, scoring eight straight points to cut the deficit to 40-33 at the half.
The Lady Lancers continued to trail into the fourth quarter until sophomore Kelliann Raff scored on back-to-back possessions to give EWC a 72-71 advantage with 2:30 left in the game.
“Kelli did a tremendous job for us,” Andersen said. “She may have only scored a couple buckets but her energy and defense really helped get us going and gave us an extra person in the rotation.”
It was a lead EWC held until the end of regulation.
“Our kids showed a lot of character, hanging in there,” Andersen said.
With under 20 seconds remaining in the game and the home team leading 75-73, NJC turned the ball over and promptly fouled sophomore Emily Buchanan.
She knocked down one of her two attempts, but with 9.1 seconds left, the Plainsmen drove the length of the floor, draining a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 76 to force an extra period.
In overtime, EWC took the early lead courtesy of an NJC turnover, but much like the ending of regulation, Buchanan found herself at the line late in overtime.
She made both, giving the Lady Lancers an 85-82 lead, but once again, the Plainsmen kept their hopes alive with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force a second overtime.
This time it was the visitors who grabbed the early advantage, taking a 92-88 lead midway through the second overtime, but Eastern Wyoming ended the game on a 5-0 spurt to secure the team’s 13th win of the season.
NJC had an opportunity late, but a turnover driving down the middle of the lane ended up in the hands of Lady Lancer sophomore Abril Rexach Roure in the closing seconds of the game.
“NJC is a good team. They’ve got some good players. It was a good college ballgame,” Andersen said. “Both teams played their hearts out. Both teams made mistakes. Both teams made plays. We were fortunate to come out with the win in the end.”
In all, EWC forced 28 turnovers in the win, and Buchanan led the team with 31 points. Roure added 19, while freshman Paula Martinez Sanz tossed in 11.
The Lady Lancers also defeated McCook (Neb.) Community College 90-88 last Friday, and the next day, EWC knocked off North Platte (Neb.) Community College 57-40.
On Friday, Eastern Wyoming fended off a late run to hold on to the two-point victory. McCook outscored EWC 23-19 in the fourth quarter to nearly score the come-from-behind victory.
Buchanan led the team with 29 points, while Cutler and Sanz added 12. Margarit had 11.
On Saturday, a big second half lifted the Lady Lancers to a 17-point win over North Platte.
EWC outscored the Lady Knights 32-15 over the final 20 minutes of play.
Buchanan had 15 points, while Cutler added 14.
The Lady Lancers (13-1) resumes play on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at home against Sheridan College. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
“I told the kids I’m really proud of them on a great first semester,” Andersen said. “Now we’ll get a little break and come back and hopefully we’ll have more success in the second semester.”
NJC 20 20 17 19 9 7 – 92
EWC 15 18 21 22 9 8 – 93
Northeastern: Alyzae Davis 24, Tashika Burrell 16, Kristen Regennitter 6, Asia Turner 21, Aleksandra Ratnikava 11, Taylor Knudson 11, Kalyn Serrato 3
Eastern Wyoming: Abril Rexach Roure 19, Ines Salat Margarit 3, Macie Mackey 4, Emily Buchanan 31, Nicole Cutler 16, Kelliann Raff 7, Barbara Trehub 2, Paula Martinez Sanz 11
EWC 12 13 16 16 – 57
NPCC 14 11 5 10 – 40
Eastern Wyoming: Abril Rexach Roure 9, Ines Salat Margarit 8, Emily Buchanan 15, Nicole Cutler 14, Kelliann Raff 2, Barbara Trehub 1, Paula Martinez Sanz 8
North Platte: Madisyn Francis 8, Nahatabaa Nacona 12, Katie Cox 2, Emily Joseph 4, Dehje Belmore 8, Nerea Castellano-Jarandilla 6
EWC 28 23 20 19 – 90
MCC 25 16 24 23 – 88
Eastern Wyoming: Abril Rexach Roure 8, Ines Salat Margarit 11, Macie Mackey 6, Emily Buchanan 29, Nicole Cutler 12, Morning Gambler 3, Kelliann Raff 6, Barbara Trehub 3, Paula Martinez Sanz 12