Long forces overtime on buzzer beater before Purple Knights fall, 80-75

Long forces overtime on buzzer beater before Purple Knights fall, 80-75

ALBANY, N.Y. - Saint Michael's College senior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) buried a tying three-pointer at the end of regulation to force overtime before the Purple Knights ultimately dropped an 80-75 contest at The College of Saint Rose on Wednesday in Nolan Gymnasium. The Purple and Gold is now 3-12 overall and 2-9 in the Northeast-10 Conference, losing for the sixth time by single digits, while the hosts are 9-9 and 4-8.

Long posted her eighth double-double of the season with 22 points and 15 rebounds, shooting 13-of-15 on free throws, while first-year Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) collected a season-high 22 points with five rebounds and five steals. Evora went 10-of-11 on freebies but fouled out late in regulation. Junior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) added 10 points and five boards, and senior Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) and sophomore Megan Gaudreau (Brooklyn, Conn./Pomfret School) handed out four assists each. The teams combined for 72 free throw attempts, with Saint Michael's shooting 27-of-34.

Senior Desiree Simmons (Newark, N.J./Malcolm X Shabazz) paced Saint Rose with 22 points, seven boards and three steals, and junior Gabie Polce (Chelmsford, Mass./Central Catholic) turned in 19 points. First-year Staci Barrett (Elmont, N.Y./Long Island Lutheran) notched 14 points and 15 caroms, eight of which came on the offensive end. Junior Jamie Hutcheson (Ancaster, Ontario/Bishop Tonnos C.S.S.) tacked on 12 points and five helpers.

Long hit four straight free throws to cap an 8-0 run early in the second stanza, giving her squad a 41-33 advantage at 16:13, and Evora scored eight straight Purple Knight points to keep the hosts ahead 51-44 with a freebie at 7:59. Saint Rose put together an 11-2 run to grab a 55-53 edge by 5:31 on a Polce hoop, and the Golden Knights pushed their advantage to four points twice, including at 63-59 with 37 seconds remaining. Down the stretch, Saint Rose had three chances to ice the win but shot only 1-of-4 on free throws in the closing 27 seconds of regulation. After missing the first of a one-and-one, the hosts grabbed the rebound and were fouled again but once more were off the mark on their first of a one-and-one. The Purple Knights gained possession and missed a tying lay-up with 12 seconds to go, and the Golden Knights were sent to the line with nine seconds left. However, Saint Rose only went 1-of-2, making it 64-61, and Long connected on a tying three at the buzzer.

Polce's triple one minute into overtime gave her team the lead for good, as Deroy's hoop 30 seconds later that made it 67-66 brought the Purple Knights as close as they would come, as they ultimately fell behind by seven. Saint Michael's whittled the deficit to three points four times in the last 39 seconds but never possessed with a chance to tie.

After Saint Rose forged a 10-4 lead by the time 3:11 had elapsed in the opening half, the Purple Knights scored 10 of the next 11 points, with five players contributing in the scoring column. Sophomore Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y./Coleman Catholic) canned two free throws at 13:56 to produce a 14-11 margin, and neither team led by more than five points again until Evora buried a three-pointer at 6:11, giving Saint Michael's a 30-24 advantage. The visitors never relinquished the lead prior to intermission, ultimately taking a 33-31 lead into halftime.

Saint Michael's returns home to the Ross Sports Center for its next two games, taking on Pace University on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.