Generals win overtime thriller 69-66
Dryden, NY – It was an ultra-close game. It was a back-and-forth game, not just for scoring but also for scoring streaks. In the end, the Generals, relying on their long-range artillery and the sharpshooting of freshman Alyssa Craig, earned a 69-66 victory over the TC3 Panthers in overtime on Wednesday night.
Craig has been an off-the-bench contributor all season, but clearly the game at Tompkins Cortland CC was her finest collegiate outing to date. The tall guard from Fonda sank two three-pointers in the first half, then two more threes and three free throws after the break for a 15-point night. Craig and Whitney Brown both had 15-point nights.
The Panthers scored the game's first goal. Then Victoria Seabrooks sank a free throw and Brown hit from 13 feet to give Herkimer a momentary lead.
The game was a close one for a while. Samantha Randio scored a field goal. Alexia Brown sank a two plus a free throw for a three-point play. The score was 12-11 in the home team's favor, but soon the Panthers would go on a 7-0 scoring run. 22-13, TC3.
Then the Generals responded with an offensive of their own, outscoring the Big Cats 12-1. That run included two FGs by Seabrooks, a three-point play by Ariel Travis, a reverse-layup by Randio, and a nifty three-pointer by Aniya Webb. Herkimer led 25-23.
Photo: Whitney Brown driving, with Sam Randio ready for a rebound
The first half continued with even play until the period was about to end with Herkimer ahead 32-31. However, a TC3 shooter was fouled just before time ran out. She sank both FTs, and the home side went into the locker room with a 33-32 lead.
Field goals by Seabrooks and Randio opened the second half, but the lead kept changing hands.
Herkimer was trailing 46-41 when Craig contributed three huge points, and she did it the hard way. Craig was fouled while shooting from behind the arc, so she was awarded three free throws. With her team seriously needing to score, the freshman stepped to the line and calmly sank all three FTs. The Generals trailed by two.
The Panthers are a tall team, and they used that height advantage to block many of the Generals' shots. The Panthers surged in front again, but field goals by Shileeka Williams and Travis narrowed the gap, and another three by Craig narrowed the TC3 lead to one point.
The clock showed only 1:11 to play, and the Panthers led 60-56. Then Whitney Brown came through in the clutch. Brown nailed a three from the center of the arc, then drove for two and a 61-60 Herkimer lead.
Photo: Victoria Seabrooks fights for the ball
It looked as if the Generals would win in regulation, but TC3's Kenisha Adams was fouled while shooting with 6.4 seconds left. Two FTs would probably have given the Panthers the win, but Adams netted just one of her two attempts. The 61-61 score sent the game into overtime.
TC3 scored with a free throw, but Aniya Webb sank a three for the Generals, and Randio talled a field goal for a four-point Herkimer lead.
The Panthers fought back and tied the game at 66-66. Then Aniya Webb sank another three-pointer, this one from the left side, and Herkimer was in front 69-66.
The Generals did a nice job of closing out the final 30-plus seconds and earned the win, 69-66. Head Coach BJ Gouger's team is now 6-2. They will host Cayuga CC on Saturday, with a 1:00 p.m. tipoff.
Nick Scribe, website writer
Note: Starting guard Allie Webb traveled with the team but was still unable to play because of the knee injury that she sustained before the Thanksgiving break. Webb said that she hopes very much to return to the lineup in January.
Herkimer scoring: Randio 8, Williams 2, W. Brown 15, Aniya Webb 11, Seabrooks 9, A. Brown 4, Craig 15, Travis 5 – Total 69