Evangel saw a double-digit second half lead get away, ended up trailing by three with 15 seconds left in regulation but forced overtime and won 88-83 over Graceland Saturday at the Ashcroft Center.
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Evangel guard Emily Atkins hit two free throws with nine seconds left in regulation forcing overtime tying the score at 74. Moments earlier Evangel had led 63-52 with seven minutes remaining but six three-point baskets from Graceland late in the game brought the Yellowjackets back and they had a 74-71 lead with 15 seconds remaining.
A Jessica Rumfelt free throw with 11 seconds left got the Crusaders within two. Akins then rebounded a missed free throw from Graceland and was tripped with nine seconds left leading to the tying foul shots. Graceland’s Jarica Smith’s 24-foot shot at the buzzer of regulation went short sending the game to overtime.
Evangel outscored Graceland 14-9 in the overtime.
Evangel’s Sierra McSpadden matched a career high with 29 points and added 9 rebounds while Amanda Landolt eclipsed her career high with 22 points. Tiaunshe Brown also scored 5 of her 11 points in the overtime for the Crusaders.
Smith had 23 to lead to the Yellowjackets who fell to 2-11 and 0-5 in the Heart of America conference.
The win improves Evangel’s record to 4-6 and 3-1 in the conference. The 88 points for the Crusaders in the game was a season high and well ahead of their previous season mark of 63.
Evangel plays at home again Thursday as they take on Avila in a conference game. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. at the Ashcroft Center.