Western Illinois Comeback Falls Short in 2OT


MACOMB, IL – The Western Illinois Women’s Basketball team’s comeback fell short as they fell 87-85 in double overtime to Morehead State on Thursday night. Western Illinois moves to 16-10 overall and 7-8 in Ohio Valley play.

Western Illinois’ offense started from the free throw line, as the Leathernecks scored their first three points. Trailing by three, Allie Meadows knocked down WIU’s first triple of the game, tying everything at 6-6. Raegan McCowan would get Western Illinois final basket of the quarter as she faked right and turned left with 5:29 left in the opening frame.

After trailing 12-8 at the end of the first quarter, WIU saw Morehead State increase their lead to a large nine by the media timeout in the second quarter. McCowan ended the Eagles 8-0 run sparking a 4-0 run for Western Illinois as they trailed 23-16. Morehead State kept their foot on the gas as they led by 14 (30-16) at the halftime break.

Morehead State did not slow down as they opened up a 17-point lead multiple times in the third quarter. With 2:58 left in the third quarter and WIU trailing 42-25. Head Coach JD Gravina looked to his bench for an offensive spark. He found Mallory McDermott as she knocked down a three-pointer to bring WIU within 14. The Leathernecks stayed aggressive on the offensive end as two free throws by Anna Deets and a Jasmine Nichols layup cut the deficit down to 10 (42-32) by the end of the third quarter.

The 7-0 run to end the third quarter did not stop for the purple and gold McDermott would get a layup to fall, forcing a Morehead State timeout with 8:33 left in the fourth. Western Illinois kept chipping away, with McDermott adding two points from the free throw line, and Carla Flores buried a three-pushing WIU within three (44-41). Western Illinois saw the deficit get down to one at the hands of McDermott before Morehead State climbed it back out to five (48-43). The Leathernecks did not quiver as two more McDermott free throws and a Flores three tied everything at 48. Teams traded baskets as WIU saw themselves back down by four (55-51) with 1:11 remaining in regulation. Western Illinois cut it to a two-point game as Jasmine Nichols got a layup to fall. Morehead State left the door open for WIU as they went 1-2 from the free throw line with nine seconds left, making it a three-point game (56-53). With 0.8 seconds on the clock, Deets was fouled on a three-pointer and knocked down all three of her shots to send the game into overtime at 56-56.

Overtime showed Western Illinois resiliency as they found themselves down seven (65-58) with 2:05 left. Addi Brownfield would get a layup and a foul, trimming the Eagle lead down to four (67-63). The Leatherneck’s defense increased intensity as Brownfield kept chipping away at the free-throw line. Down 72-69, Kaylen Reed drove into the heart of the Eagle’s defense and knocked down a turnaround jump shot to bring WIU within one (72-71). Morehead State brought it back out to two before Reed would go the length of the court and find her second straight bucket, sending the game to double overtime tied at 73.

Reed scored the first two points of double overtime as WIU saw their first lead at 75-73. Morehead fought back with a 4-0 run, but Deets had a reverse layup to tie the game at 77. Western Illinois kept fighting until the end as Morehead State iced it from the free throw line, taking the 87-85 win.

Western Illinois had four scorers in double figures. Raegan McCowan paced the way with 18 points. Mallory McDermott had 17 behind her. Addi Brownfield and Anna Deets rounded out the Leatherneck double-digit scoring with 13 and 10. Brownfield finished with a double-double as they grabbed 11 rebounds. Kaylen Reed and Jasmine Nichols both provided valuable minutes off the bench, scoring nine points each.

The Leathernecks return to Western Hall on Saturday to face Southern Indiana at 1:00 p.m.

Copy Provided by Western Athletics Communications

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