Central Oklahoma skids by Washburn
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Ashley Beckley rebounded her own miss and made a short follow shot with 4.8 seconds left to vault Central Oklahoma past Washburn 65-64 Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Division II South Central Regional.
The Bronchos had to withstand some tense moments at the end of the game when two players collided at the buzzer, but officials ruled that time had expired and UCO survived in the tense back-and-forth thriller.
Beckley got a shot at the game-winner when the Lady Blues missed the front end of a one-and-one with 20 seconds left and Alex Richardson pulled down the rebound. The senior star's first shot was off the mark at 7.5, but she pulled down the carom and made the second try for the win.
The Bronchos improved to 21-9 and moved into Saturday's semifinals against Northeastern State at 7:30 p.m.
Beckley's last-second bucket not only pushed UCO into the semifinals, but it also gave her a single-season school record 591 points. She finished with 18 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals in playing 39 of the game's 40 minutes.
Richardson also ended with 18 points, hitting 7-of-11 shots and 4-of-5 free throws while adding nine rebounds.
Alyssa Fuxa added nine points and six rebounds, Britney Morgan eight points and four assists, Kylie Mayes seven points and Courtney Allen five points and six rebounds before going down with an apparent serious knee injury midway through the second half that will probably keep her out of Saturday's game.
Beckley and Richardson made two free throws apiece to give UCO a 63-61 lead with 2:33 remaining, but the Lady Blues went in front 64-63 on a 3-pointer at the 2:04 mark.
The Bronchos turned the ball over on their next two possessions and WU got two offensive rebounds off missed shots to keep the ball before UCO was called for a foul with 20 seconds to play.
Washburn missed the ensuing front end and Richardson gathered in the rebound to set up the game-winning sequence.
The Bronchos were outrebounded 46-38, but limited WU to 34.8 percent shooting (23-of-66) from the field. UCO shot 52 percent (13-of-25) from the field and 88.9 percent (8-of-9) from the line in the second half.
Beckley scored seven points in the first 5 minutes of the game to help stake the Bronchos to a quick 13-6 lead and it was 16-9 at the 8:44 mark after an Allen 3-pointer.
WU came back to tie it at 20-all and hit two free throws with 1 second left to send the teams to the locker room deadlocked at 29.
UCO trailed by four on a couple of occasions in the second half, the final time at 50-46 with 10:56 to play. The Bronchos responded with eight unanswered points, getting a 3-pointer from Fuxa, a three-point play from Richardson and an inside bucket from Beckley to go on top 54-50 at 8:27.
It was still a four-point lead (59-55) following a Richardson goal at 6:06, but WU used a 6-0 run to move in front 61-59 and set up the wild finish.