March 16, 2009

Courtesy GoStatesmen.com

CLEVELAND - Senior Courtney Wilson tipped in LaMaesha McAdory's miss with 7.2 seconds left to cap off a 13-3 run and send Delta State University (29-6) to their second straight NCAA Elite 8 with a thrilling 50-49 win over GSC foe Ouachita Baptist University.

In front of a crowd of 1,350 people inside Walter Sillers Coliseum, Ouachita Baptist (23-9) started out the game with their feet on the accelerator, as they jumped out with an 11-2 lead after Angela Colliver's three-pointer from the top of the key.

The Lady Statesmen would respond, as a free throw by LaMaesha McAdory gave the Lady Statesmen a 16-15 advantage with 9:43 left in the opening stanza. DSU would lead by as many as five, at 27-22 with 3:45 left until the half, but the Lady Tigers, as they had done the whole season, fought back and took a 30-29 lead into the locker room at intermission.

DSU shot 11-of-25 (44%) in the first half, while OBU shot 7-of-20 (35%) from the floor. However, the Lady Tigers knocked down 14-of-16 from the stripe in the first half, while DSU shot only 6-of-9 from the stripe in the opening half.

Maranda Parker of OBU led all scorers with eight points in the half, while Bug Cooper led DSU with seven first half points. DSU owned the advantage on the boards in the first half, with a 17-13 advantage.

The second half saw the Gary Crowder coached Lady Tigers come out with steam from the locker room to start the second half. OBU took a 42-33 lead with a jumper from Haley Griffin with 13:16 left in the contest.

A jumper by Shameka Russell of DSU ended nearly a four minute scoring drought for the Lady Statesmen, as the score was 46-39 OBU, with 6:22 remaining in the contest. Russell again came to the rescue as she scored one-of-two from the free throw line to tie the game at 46 with 2:15 remaining.

Colliver would score a layup with 1:55 left to give OBU a 48-46 edge, but freshman Veronica Walker, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, made a layup to tie things up at 48-48.

A'Laeshia Adams of OBU was fouled by Walker with 37 seconds remaining. Her first free throw was true, but the second was long and rebounded by Walker.

This would set up an epic ending, as McAdory missed a jumper, claimed her own rebound, and missed for a second time. However, fifth-year senior forward Wilson tipped in the shot for a 50-49 lead for DSU.

Adams drove the length of the floor for OBU and her desperation one handed shot from the base line was long, and DSU claimed the win.

With the win, the Lady Statesmen will advance to their second straight Elite 8 and their eleventh in school history. Adams led all scorers with 14 points, and Wilson was the only player in double figures for DSU, as she had a 10 point and 10 rebound performance.

OBU finished 15-of-45 (33.3 percent), while DSU connected on 20-of-50 (40 percent) from the floor.

DSU will face West Texas A&M in the National Quarterfinals on March 24 in San Antonio, Texas at Bill Greehey Arena.