From OBU Sports Info.
Casady Fletcher, Assistant Director of Athletic Media Relations
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Oklahoma Baptist fell 83-81 in triple overtime to Westmont (Calif.) in the quarterfinals of the 2015 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City.
There were 11 ties and nine lead changes in the three-overtime marathon Saturday night at the Independence Events Center, which tied the longest game in NAIA postseason history. It was the only overtime game for the Lady Bison this season.
A back-and-forth first half ended when the Warriors (27-6) made a three-point shot with one second remaining to take a 28-27 lead into intermission.
OBU once again trailed by double digits in the second half, as Westmont extended their lead to 14 points with 11:34 remaining in regulation. The Lady Bison answered with an 18-4 run to tie up the game at 53-53 with 6:26 left.
Raquel Dudzevich knocked down a jumper with 14 seconds remaining in the second half to give OBU their first lead of the half at 64-62.
Westmont tipped in a put-back rebound at the buzzer to force the first overtime.
In the first overtime the Lady Bison trailed by as much as four, but senior Charity Fowler knocked down a three-pointer to tie up the game with 1:23 remaining. Neither team scored for the rest of the period to send the game to a second overtime.
Fowler once again hit a big three with OBU down four in the second overtime. Cameerah Graves made two free throws with 1:18 to go to tie up the game and force the third overtime period.
Senior Elisabeth Daniels gave the Lady Bison an 81-79 advantage on a made jumper with 3:06 left in the third overtime period of the game. OBU missed two shots in the final 10 seconds trailing by one, and had to foul with six seconds remaining.
After making the first free throw, Westmont missed the second free throw, and the Lady Bison grabbed the rebound. OBU was unable to get off a shot in the final seconds as the Warriors advanced to meet Oklahoma City in the semifinals.
Fowler recorded her second consecutive double-double and the ninth of her career, finishing with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Daniels added 15 points, freshman McKenzie Cooper scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Graves dished out a game-high five assists.
It was the final game in an OBU uniform for four seniors. Charity Fowler, Elisabeth Daniels, Marida Lewis, and Lilia Inoubli ended their college careers Saturday night.
“This is a special group [of seniors]. I hate how it ended, I wanted to get as far as we could for that group,” said OBU head coach Casi Bays.
“I think they set a foundation for these underclassmen getting them this deep into the tournament to keep the OBU women’s basketball program going forward like it needs to, and we’re going to miss them.”
The Lady Bison finished their final season in the NAIA with a 27-6 record after returning to the quarterfinals of the national tournament for the first time since 2009.
OBU will begin competition at the NCAA Division II level for the 2015-16 season in the Great American Conference.