Danielle Vaughn clinches victory in final shot to win the game
MELBOURNE, Fla. – Florida Tech accomplished something that only one other NCAA women’s basketball team has previously achieved-a victory in a five overtime
game. The Panthers’ 82-81 victory over Florida Southern in five overtimes was just the second NCAA women’s basketball game ever played that required five
extra periods to break the stalemate.
Only one other NCAA women’s basketball game, a Division II contest between Northern Kentucky and St. Joseph’s (Ind.) played in 1988 lasted five overtimes.
No other women’s basketball game in either Division I or III has ever needed a fifth overtime.
Florida Tech (11-8, 5-3 Sunshine State Conference) also established a program record for rebounds, as the Panthers grabbed 74 total boards, including 41 on
the offensive end.
The two regulation periods were a nip-and-tuck affair, with Florida Tech holding a 23-21 edge at halftime and the teams deadlocked at 48-48 heading into
overtime, the 10th time the score was tied in regulation. The largest lead either team enjoyed in regulation was six-point advantage, when Tech led 20-14
with 6:45 to play in the first half. Neither team led in the second half by more than three points.
In the first overtime, Florida Southern led 55-50 with 1:33 to play, but a three-pointer by sophomore Tenisha Chase (Temple Hills, Md.) trimmed the Mocs’
lead to 55-52 with 1:08 left on the clock. A layup by junior Jen Tamilio (Salem, Mass.) in the closing seconds knotted the game at 55-55.
In the second overtime, Tech never trailed, but Southern junior Meghana Saoji (Longwood, Fla.) hit a layup with 38 seconds on the clock to tie the score at
61-61 and force a third extra frame.
The third overtime saw Florida Southern jump out to 65-62 lead at the 3:33 mark and a 67-66 advantage with 1:29 to play. Junior Danielle Vaughn
(Tallahassee, Fla.) sank a free throw with 38 seconds left on the clock to knot the score at 67-67 and send the game into the fourth extra period.
Overtime four would see Florida Southern claim the largest lead by either team in the extra periods, a 72-68 lead with 1:12 on the clock. Vaughn came up
big, hitting a layup to trim the Mocs’ lead to 72-70 with 39 seconds left in the period. After sophomore Amanda Muns (Chico, Tex.) stole the ball in the
final seconds and an ill-advised foul allowed Vaughn to earn a trip to the free-throw line, where she hit both free throws to tie the contest at 72-72 and
force an unbelieveable fifth extra frame.
In the fifth overtime, the lead changed hands four times in the first 3-1/2 minutes. Junior Danise Fequiere (Miami, Fla.) snapped a 77-77 tie with a free
throw at the 1:29 mark to put the Panthers up by one. Sophomore Alexis Boorde (Palm Bay, Fla,) hit two free throws to reclaim the lead for the Mocs, 79-78,
with exactly one minute to play. Her first three throw tied the game for the 21st time. Tech would not die. The Panthers went ahead 80-79 on a Chase layup
with 36 seconds left on the clock, before Mocs’ sophomore Willamina Folks (Tampa, Fla.) pumped in a jumper with 17 seconds left to give Southern an 81-80
lead. The hero of the day would turn out to be Vaughn, whose jumper in the final seconds game the Panthers an 82-81 lead that would stand for good.
Four Panthers scored in double figures, led by Vaughn, who collected 18 points. Fequiere added 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, Muns scored 13 points
and Chase chipped in 12 points. Freshman Sabrina Jones (Orlando, Fla.) also grabbed a game-best 14 rebounds, to go with her eight points.
For Florida Southern (6-13, 2-6 SSC), junior Sarah Pavelecky (Wickliffe, Ohio) collected a game-high 24 points, while sophomore Willamina Folks (Tampa,
Fla.) Saoji scored 14 points apiece. Junior Christina Wright (Lehigh Acres, Fla.) registered 12 points and a team-high 13 rebounds.
Florida Tech will need to recover quickly, as they travel to Winter Park on Monday to face 10th-ranked and undefeated Rollins College (17-0, 8-0 SSC).
Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. With a win Florida Tech’s Head Coach John Reynolds could reach a career milestone and hit his 350th win.