Broncos win overtime thriller, set team record for consecutive wins
The Hastings College women's basketball team was able to squeak by No. 7 Morningside College but needed overtime to do so, winning 85-80 on Wednesday night. With his victory, tonight, this Lady Broncos team has broken the longest winning streak with 23 straight wins, with the record that use to belong to the 1992-93 Lady Broncos team.
The No. 2 Ranked Lady Broncos knew it was going to take a little more effort to win this game with a key player in Gabby Grasso (SR/Omaha, NE) unable to play today due to injury that occurred in previous game against Briar Cliff.
After going back and forth with the Mustangs to start the game, Hastings would find themselves tied 10-10 halfway through the first quarter, HC would go on to get outscored 16-9 to end the quarter trailing 26-19 to the No. 7 Mustangs.
Shandra Farmer (SR/Hastings, NE) would make it a 26-23 game with a basket to open the quarter and then very next possession she would force a steal and get the easy score off the turnover with less than a minute in the quarter. A basket good from Taylor Beacom (SO/Papillion, NE) would lead to a layup from Shayla Carrier (FR/Reno, NV) to give HC back the 29-28 lead. Turnover and missed shots allowed the Mustangs to take a five point 38-33 lead into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, Morningside would quickly build themselves a 10-point lead after drilling a three-pointer to make it 45-35. The Lady Broncos would continue to struggle making shots after only making 19 of their 43 shots in first half. A basket at the two-minute mark would give Morningside their largest lead of the game, leading 51-40 over Hastings. Carrier would make two layups to end the quarter trailing by 7 as the teams move into the final quarter.
As the final quarter got underway the Lady Broncos could not find a way to cut into the lead. The Mustangs kept working on building their lead going on 13-4 run to start the fourth quarter leading by 16 with 6:57 left in the game.
Then there was a spark.
Started off with Beacom scoring in the paint and then a couple plays later drilling a three-point to bring the lead under double-digits. With the clock under two minutes, trailing by eight the Broncos were forced to start fouling. The student section and crowd played huge did their job in making it difficult for the Mustang shooters as Morningside would miss one of the free throws to make it just a nine-point game. Farmer would get fouled and make both of her shot from the charity strike to make it a seven-point game. Turnover on the next play by the Mustangs led to a basket from Kaitlyn Schmit (JR/Omaha, NE) to bring the lead to just five. Hastings then would force another turnover with :45 seconds left but after a timeout, Morningside would steal the ball back forcing HC to foul once again.
This time the Mustangs would miss both their free throws allowing Sophia Pankratz (SR/Hastings, NE) to drain a crucial three-point to make the score 70-68 with :26 seconds left. Another foul sends Morningside to the line where she would make the first but miss the second to keep the Lady Broncos in the game. After rebounding the missed free throw, Pankratz would get fouled sending her to the line where she would drain both of her shots to bring the lead to just one with :13 second left in the game. The Mustangs would finally be able to make a pair of free throws to push the lead back to three. Again, another foul would send Farmer back to the line where she would go 2-for-2 to trail 73-72 with :08 seconds to go. Quick foul would send the Mustangs back to line where they would again go 1-for-2 at the line giving the Lady Broncos the opportunity to give the ball to Farmer and allow her to sprint down the court as she finds the basket with just 1.6 seconds left to tie the game 74-74 and force overtime.
Finally, the Lady Broncos had all the momentum in their favor. Under the final two minutes of regulation, Morningside went 5-for-10 from the free throw line which allowed Hastings to be able to tie the game.
As overtime starts, HC would win the tip off and would get the ball to Pankratz as she would drain back-to-back threes to put the Lady Broncos up six in a short amount of time. Hastings would go on and control the rest of overtime and take the 85-80 victory.
The Lady Broncos had three players finish the night in double figures as they were led by Pankratz 23 points, on 8-for-13 shooting including going 4-for-7 from behind the arc. She also snagged four steals and led the team in rebounds with 13 for second double-double of the season. Farmer would finish with 20 points on 5-for-12 from the field while also going 10-for-12 at the free throw line and adding four assist and four rebounds. Beacom added 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting.
Hastings finished the game shooting 42.3% from the floor while Morningside would go on to shoot 47.5%. Morningside won the rebounding battle 45-to-32.
The Lady Broncos would dominate the turnover battle, as they forced the Mustangs to turn over the ball 26 time compared to their own 15.
Hastings is now 23-0 on the year and will be back in action next Saturday Feb. 1st as they host No. 17 Northwestern College.