Conway St. Joseph forward Meagan Briggler curled around a double screen at the top of the key and drilled a three-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation, forcing overtime in the Lady Ramblers' home opener on Friday night at Rambler Arena.
The two teams traded leads five teams in overtime. Rose Bud snatched a one-point advantage when guard Kyndl Harlan drove past her defender and down left side of the lane for a layup with only eight seconds remaining.
But, following a timeout, St. Joseph post player Anna Mayor was fouled on the left block and hit both free throws with only two seconds left to play in overtime as the Lady Bulldogs pulled out a dramatic 42-41 victory.
Rose Bud Coach Mandy Goodwin said her team needed to do a better job of locating St. Joseph's primary shooters and staying in the passing lanes. “I didn't feel like we knew where their shooters were. We knew who they were going to but didn't cover them very well. It just came down to who had the ball last and she (Mayor) stuck the free throws. I thought we should have stole the pass but we didn't.”
In the four-minute overtime period, Mayor gave the Lady Bulldogs an early lead with a bucket from right block but Rose Bud point guard Lexi Jackson countered with a three-pointer up top, post player Natalie Sherwood added a free throw and Jackson scored off an isolation dribble drive, giving the Lady Ramblers a 39-35 lead with under two minutes left.
Meagan Briggler kept the Lady Bulldogs in the game with a deep three-pointer from left elbow then post player Taylor Womack followed with a jumper inside the foul line off an assist from point guard Rachel Briggler as St. Joseph jumped back on top, 40-39.
Harlan beat her defender off the dribble for a layup as Rose Bud quickly responded but St. Joseph broke the Lady Ramblers' full-court press as Rachel Briggler split a trap near mid-court and bounced to Mayor, who was bumped. Mayor made the front end of the one-and-one to tie the game and the back end to win the game for the Lady Bulldogs.
Rose Bud came out of the gate on fire in the first quarter, starting when Sherwood hit a turnaround jumper over two defenders.
The Lady Ramblers then drilled three shots from beyond the arc, including one each from guard Jessi Mann, Harlan and Jackson, building an 11-5 lead entering the second quarter.
St. Joseph opened the second quarter with a 5-0 run highlighted by a three-pointer from Meagan Briggler. The Lady Bulldogs, who outscored Rose Bud 9-3 in the second period, took their first lead after guard Madeline Moix buried a 16-foot jumper and Mayor scored inside off a high-low assist from Womack.
Page 2 of 2 - Rose Bud reserve post player Tess Capps contributed a rebound bucket, tying the score at 14-all at halftime.
The Lady Ramblers, who outscored St. Joseph 9-6 in the third quarter, opened the period with a 4-0 spurt as Mann hit a runner in the lane and Sherwood scored in the paint.
Moix fired back with consecutive buckets for the Lady Bulldogs, tying the game before Rose Bud reclaimed the lead on a three-pointer from left elbow by Mann.
Mayor responded with a bucket from left block off an assist from guard Abby Kordsmeir but Rose Bud guard Bailee Burchfield answered with a jumper from left side off an assist from Harlan, pushing the Lady Ramblers' lead to 23-20 entering the final eight minutes of regulation.
Burchfield, who scored eight points in the fourth quarter, opened the period with a jumper as Rose Bud pushed its lead to five before St. Joseph came storming back as Womack scored inside and Meagan Briggler ripped a three-pointer from right wing off an assist from Mayor.
Tied at 25-up, Rose Bud regained the lead when Burchfield hit a midrange jumper from left baseline but Rachel Briggler retaliated with a three-pointer from left wing. The Lady Ramblers jumped back in front when Burchfield stole an inbound pass at mid-court and drove to the basket for a layup.
After Mann turned another steal into a pair of free throws, boosting Rose Bud's lead to 31-28, Mayor hit a short jumper in the lane. Both teams suffered turnovers and Rose Bud took advantage when Burchfield sank a pair of free throws following a steal by Jackson.
With Rose Bud leading by three with 19 seconds left to play, Meagan Briggler curled around a double screen and drilled a three-pointer off an assist from Rachel Briggler as the Lady Bulldogs tied the game and won in overtime when Mayor hit two free throws with two seconds left.
Meagan Briggler led Conway St. Joseph (6-7) with 12 points on four three-pointers, Mayor followed with 11 points, Rachel Briggler had eight and Moix finished with six.
Mann paced Rose Bud (3-2) with 12 points, Burchfield added 10 and Jackson finished with eight, while Sherwood and Harlan each scored five.