When their team trailed by 24 points in the first half, a few Southern Illinois University Edwardsville fans may have skipped out on the second half to do some early holiday shopping. Those who stayed received one of the greatest gifts of the year.
SIU Edwardsville rallied to erase the fourth-largest deficit in NCAA Division I history for a 90-86 overtime win against University of Nebraska Omaha on Dec. 13.
Omaha hit 7 of 10 3-pointers in the first half and raced to a 48-24 with 1:44 to play in the first half. SIUE had 11 turnovers in the first period alone.
The Cougars scored the last seven points of the first half and never relinquished the momentum.
SIUE Radio Network play-by-play voice Sam Levitt had the call as the game took a pivotal turn:
"The difference was that they came out and got a couple of quick, easy baskets and I don't think our defense was good early," SIUE head coach Paula Buscher said. "We started to get stressed and we play better relaxed and confident. In the second half we played much more poised and together."
Shronda Butts, who scored a game-high 30, nailed a 3-pointer with 2 minutes to play in regulation to even the score, 77-77, for the first time since the first quarter.
The two teams exchanged baskets before the game was sent into overtime. Lauren White, who matched her season-high with 16 points, hit the final basket in regulation with 59 seconds left.
SIUE outscored Omaha 11-7 in the extra period to take the victory.
SIU Edwardsville next visits Valparaiso for a 5 p.m. ET tip-off Saturday, Dec. 19.