The Newman University women’s basketball team had only three wins when the Jets landed in Hillsboro on Tuesday night, but they nearly left with four.
“Newman has really come along recently,” head coach Rusty Allen said. “Tonight I thought they were really good, especially in the second half. I have to tip my hat to them; they really showed a lot of guts.”
The Tabor women countered guts with guile and in the end, got the glory.
With 10 seconds left in the second half and the score in Tabor’s favor at 64-62, Gretchen Berns-a 6’2 freshman center from Peabody-drew a foul under the basket.
Berns missed both free throws, and Emily Vogts went to the floor with an unidentified Newman player to grab the rebound.
Both got their hands on the ball, and the play was blown dead with 7.5 seconds left-but the possession arrow favored the Jets.
The Tabor women prevented the inbounds pass, and the visitors called their final timeout.
With a second crack at tying the game, Newman ran a play designed to put the ball and the game in its hottest player’s hands.
The ball was inbounded into the deep corner and was swung around to Kaycee McGill at the top of the key.
McGill drove to the rim and scored at the end of regulation to complete a 9-2 run that tied the game, and Newman seemed to have the home team on the ropes.
The Jets also scored the first points of the overtime, taking its first lead of the game, 66-64, only 0:23 into the extra session.
But senior forward Nicole Ellis ran the floor and tied the game with a layup 0:07 seconds later.
McGill drew a foul 0:15 after that, and made both free throws to put the Jets back on top, 68-66, and both teams dialed up the defensive pressure.
After the teams traded stops, Andrea Robinson took a pass from Donya Anderson, faked a dribble-drive, and stepped back for 3-pointer that put Tabor back on top.
Emily Vogts pulled down a defensive rebound with 1:13 left, and was fouled. She went to the line for a 1-and-1 and made both free throws.
Ellis came up with the next defensive rebound for Tabor, but came down awkwardly. No foul was called, and Ellis left the game, but the ensuing possession allowed the Bluejays to run precious seconds off of the clock.
Newman scored on its next possession, making it a one-point game with 0:30 to go.
Off a nice setup from Vogts, Anderson buried a 3-point shot to make it 74-70, but McGill answered with her fourth 3-pointer of the night.
Stacie Herman was fouled on the inbounds play and missed the first half of the 1-and-1-but Vogts came up with another huge rebound and drew another foul and made two more free throws to push the margin back to three points.
Newman last gasp-a half-court lob-rimmed out and the Tabor winning streak struck 15 in a row.
Four Bluejays finished in double-digits: Ellis (18 points), Anderson (17 points), Vogts (15 points, 12 rebounds), and Robinson (13 points).
McGill had 28 points for Newman, and Berns had 15.
Ellis did not return to action, and Chelsea Malone did not play after being sidelined by a shoulder injury on Saturday. Malone is being re-evaluated on a day-to-day basis.
Tabor will play at Friends on Thursday at 6 p.m. and return to Hillsboro for a 5 p.m. meeting with Sterling on Saturday.