WEST LIBERTY, W. Va. – After 16 lead changes and two overtime periods, the Urbana University women’s basketball team came up short against West Liberty, 110-106, during an instant classic inside the WLU Academic, Sports and Recreation Complex.
The historic matchup was the first overtime game since UU played back-to-back OT games in 2014 against West Liberty (W, 99-94) and Cedarville (L, 98-91). It was also UU’s first-ever double OT game in the school’s NCAA Division II era.
Senior guard Stefanie Davis lit up the ’Toppers for the second time this season with 37 points, coming up one point shy of her school record set in the last meeting with WLU on Nov. 29. Davis made a career-high 16 field goals while finishing with a career-high 16 boards for her third double-double and adding six assists.
Sophomore forward Sylvia Hudson led three others in double figures with 26 points on 13-of-20 shooting. Senior forward Jazmyn Haley contributed a season-high 18 points while sophomore Weston Minnich made big shots off the bench with 13 points in 14 minutes.
WLU’s Marissa Brown had 35 points (15-24 FGs) along with Brandi Beader (20), Johnie Olkosky (19) and McKenna Shives (12) also in double figures.
Both teams shot over 50 percent with a combined 85 made shots on 167 attempts. UU made only four 3-pointers (4-15) while WLU hit 14 of 30 attempts from behind the arc.
UU held the advantage in turnovers (11-13) while the rebounding margin was even at 43-43.
UU quickly sliced an early 8-0 deficit to two and then hung around to only trail by five after one quarter, 21-16.
In the second quarter, Davis’ jumper at the 1:50 mark gave UU its first lead at 34-33. A stellar defensive effort where the Blue Knights eventually made seven consecutive stops, ignited a 12-0 run over a 3:22 span to put UU ahead 38-33 at the intermission.
Haley kept things rolling with four straight layups out of halftime and UU led the entire third quarter. A 10-2 WLU run got the home team to within a point but UU managed to hold a 70-67 lead after three quarters of action.
However, things were just getting started.
The two squads exchanged nine leads in the fourth. WLU claimed its first lead since the first half on Olkolsky’s fifth 3-pointer to make it 72-70 Hilltoppers.
After the teams traded baskets down the stretch, Davis came up big for the Blue Knights with a go-ahead jumper at 1:58 and then the senior iced a pair of game-tying buckets within the final 15 seconds to force overtime.
The teams traded leads four more times in the first overtime. WLU went up four with 1:19 left but Erin Morrow nailed a big three to get UU to within a point with under a minute left, 92-91. Then, Hudson gathered an offensive board and put-back layup to tie the game at 95-95 with 12 seconds left in the first OT.
Following a WLU basket, Davis came up clutch again with a pair of free throws to knot the score at 97-97 to force a second frame in OT.
Despite UU jumping out to a 101-99 lead on a pair of Haley free throws with 3:45 left in the second overtime, the Blue Knights could not hold on. Minnich drained a trey to even the score at 104-104 with 2:18 remaining, but WLU answered by sinking its 14th 3-pointer of the night. The Hilltoppers stayed one possession ahead of UU up until the final buzzer.
UU returns home Saturday for a league matchup against Notre Dame (OH). Tipoff in the Grimes Center is slated for 2 p.m.