JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Just when it appeared Shawn Randall had given the East Tennessee State women's basketball team some momentum with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, the Lady Bucs fizzled out in overtime.
Jacksonville scored the first nine points of the extra period and beat ETSU 90-81 Saturday at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Randall erased a five-point deficit by herself in the final 10 seconds, including swishing an off-balance 3-pointer with a second left. That tied the score at 70-70 and sent the game into overtime, where Jacksonville pulled away.
“That was a big shot for her to hit,” ETSU coach Karen Kemp said. “I felt the momentum had shifted our way. Then they came out red hot in overtime and we didn’t make some of our easy shots.”
ETSU fell to 7-16 overall, 5-11 in the Atlantic Sun Conference, and failed to clinch a spot in the conference tournament. It needs either one win in its final two regular-season games or Lipscomb to lose at least one to make the field for the A-Sun tournament in Macon, Ga., March 6-9.
The Dolphins (9-17, 5-10) had their biggest lead of the day (82-72) in overtime.
Randall and Maria Bond led the Lady Bucs with 17 points apiece. Seven of Randall’s came in overtime. Serena Clark added 15 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out. Cara Bowling had 13 points, making 3 of 7 shots from 3-point range.
Jacksonville did most of its damage from the foul line, making 38 of its 47 free throws. Tracie Sneed led the way, going 13 for 18 during her game-high 25-point performance.
ETSU, which was whistled for 29 fouls, was 8 for 12 from the line.
“One kid made more than we attempted,” Kemp said. “They were getting there and we didn’t get the opportunity to go to the free throw line.”
The Lady Bucs hit the boards early and often, jumping out to a 23-6 rebounding margin. Still, they trailed 23-18 on the scoreboard thanks to 15 turnovers in 14 minutes. Freshman point guard Brianna McQueen was the main culprit, turning the ball over six times in nine minutes in the first half.
“It was the way that we started the game,” Kemp said. “Turnover after turnover after turnover. And you can’t score when you're turning the ball over.”
They finished with 24 turnovers, eight by McQueen, who also missed all eight of her shots.
Destiny Mitchell, ETSU’s leading scorer, made little more than a cameo performance in the first half before a brief second-half flurry, during which she scored all eight of her points in a three-minute span. Mitchell has been nursing an injured knee.
ETSU rallied from the first-half deficit by pounding the ball inside. With all 14 points coming in the paint, the Lady Bucs used a 14-3 run to go up 32-28.
Bond's 3-pointer just before the buzzer gave the Lady Bucs a 35-33 halftime lead. Their rebounding margin was 29-15 and 26 of their points came in the paint.
By the end of the game, Jacksonville had cut ETSU’s rebounding advantage to 55-49.
The game was tied nine times and there were 11 lead changes.
The Lady Bucs play at North Florida on Monday night before returning home for their regular-season finale on March 2 against USC-Upstate.