WALTHAM, Mass. -- Third-seeded LIU Post advanced to the NCAA Division II East Region semifinals Friday after senior guard Alexis Peters beat the buzzer, giving the Pioneers a 60-59 win against sixth-seeded Assumption at the Dana Athletic Center in Waltham, Mass.
Assumption (18-11, 13-8 NE-10) started the game strong, opening an 11-2 lead four minutes into the action. The Pioneers (23-6, 18-2 ECC) battled back, however, and took their first lead of the contest on a Chelsea Williams basket with 3:55 to go before the break. The Greyhounds went back ahead on a Tafanie Roye 3-pointer, but Peters tied it with a jumper at the 1:41 mark. Allison Stoddard would send Assumption into the break with a slight 29-27 advantage, as she drilled two free throws with 44 seconds left.
In the second half, the Greyhounds led by as many as 13 (49-36). Yet, the Pioneers never gave up. A Peters jumper sparked a 16-4 run that got LIU Post within one (53-52). After Caitlin Ackerman hit a bucket to put Assumption back up three, Williams made a basket of her own and senior guard Kiki Sears drained a jumper to put the Pioneers up one (56-55).
In the final minute-plus of regulation time, Assumption's Shannon Ray hit a jumper to give the Greyhounds a 59-57 advantage. Sears then missed on a potential go-ahead three, which was followed by a Peters foul on Kelly Conley that stopped the clock with 1.1 seconds remaining.
After Assumption called a timeout, the Greyhounds had the ball under their own basket. As Assumption's Jamie Insel tried to inbound the ball, Peters intercepted the pass, took one dribble and let it go just before the buzzer sounded. The ball hit nothing but net. As the referees went to the video monitor to review the play, it was confirmed that Peters released the shot before the clock expired.
The victory for the Pioneers was the program's first NCAA tournament win since LIU Post beat FIU back in 1983.
Peters finished with 21 points, none bigger than the last two. After she hit a three with 7:47 to go in regulation, she eclipsed the 1,000-career point mark. Peters chipped in eight rebounds and six steals as well. Williams finished with a game-high 23 points. With a free throw at the 17:14 mark of the second half, she also joined the 1,000-career point club. Plus, Williams grabbed eight rebounds in the contest. Senior forward Nijah LaCourt added eight points in 28 minutes of action.