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Basketball

Triple-overtime game ends in win for TWU

With one second left in the third overtime period, Brielle Woods sank two free throws to seal a hard-fought win for TWU over Metropolitan State University of Denver on Saturday night 86-83.

TWU (2-0) and MSU Denver (1-1) faced off as the only two undefeated teams in the opening weekend Conference Challenge. After forcing 33 turnovers in another impressive defensive effort, the Pioneers rose as the only undefeated team of the Conference Challenge.

“I am so proud of our team — the heart and fight they had to battle for 55 minutes,” said TWU coach Beth Jillson. “We definitely could have hung our heads, but we battled back and did a great job from the free throw line to seal the win.”

As the Pioneers struggled to rebound against a strong Roadrunners post — Jaela Richardson, who grabbed 14 rebounds — they made up for the rebounding differential with success from the free throw line, hitting 37 out of 47 free throws in the game.

TWU jumped to an early 10-4 lead in the first quarter by drawing fouls and making shots in the paint. In a 19-14 first quarter lead, Agang Tac had six points for the Pioneers.

The Roadrunners tried to threaten the Pioneers’ lead in the second quarter, but could not overcome TWU’s dynamic press and strong backcourt-dominate offense. In the second quarter, Ma’K’La Woods sparked the TWU offense with six points.

Despite MSU Denver closing the gap in the third quarter, TWU never trailed, maintaining a 45-41 lead headed into the fourth quarter.

The Roadrunners tied the game for the first time, 52-52, with 2:49 left in the fourth. With 55 seconds left, Brielle Woods gave TWU a two-point lead with two made free throws, but the Roadrunners came back down the court, hit a jumper and sent the game into overtime.

The first overtime belonged to MSU Denver’s offense, or so it seemed. The Roadrunners lead by as much as four, but the Pioneers kept fighting. With four seconds left on the clock, Tac hit a clutch free throw to tie the game 67-67, sending the game into a second overtime.

Despite leading by as much as six in the second overtime and dominating the glass, the Roadrunners could not close the game, as TWU kept themselves alive again late in the second overtime with free throws, as Ashley Ingram hit two to keep TWU alive for a third overtime period.

The only points scored by the Pioneers in the third overtime came from the charity stripe. TWU scored 10 points off free throws in the third overtime alone to seal the win.

— From TWU sports information

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