Saint Joseph's Women's Basketball Earns Comeback Win at Wichita State, 81-73, In Overtime

WICHITA, Kan. - Fight back from down 16 points, the Saint Joseph's women's basketball team forced overtime in the final moment and went on to defeat Wichita State, 81-73, Friday evening at the Charles Koch Arena. The Hawks forced overtime on a layup by Ciara Andrews with 1.5 seconds to go and outscored the Shockers 12-4 in the extra frame to improve to 2-1. Natasha Cloud tallied 15 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, while Sarah Fairbanks had a career-high 18 points for the Hawks.


Playing in the final game of the Preseason WNIT, Saint Joseph's (2-1) found itself down 47-31 with just over 12 minutes to play. Sparked by a three-pointer from senior Erin Shields, the Hawks went on a 14-3 run as a three-pointer by Andrews brought the score to withing five, 50-45, with 8:25 to play.


The Shockers (1-2) would expand their lead back to 10, 60-50, but Saint Joseph's continued to hang around as a free throw by Andrews made it a 63-60 game at 1:27.


Wichita State would again open their lead to two possessions, 69-63, but a free throw by Cloud and a pair of free throws at the other end, by Michaela Dapprich gave the Hawks the ball with 4 seconds remaining.


On the ensuing play, Shields' caught a Wichita State defender on a three-point attempt, and calmly made all three free throws to bring the Hawks within a basket, 69-67, with 11 seconds remaining.


Off the inbounds, the Hawks trapped WSU's Alex Harden at midcourt, allowing SJU freshman Lisanne de Jonge to steal the ball and pass to Andrews. With the final seconds ticking away, Andrews drove up the left wing and layed in the game-tying basket with 1.5 seconds to go.


Tied at 69-69 to start overtime, Saint Joseph's fell behind early, 73-71, on a three-pointer by Marissa Preston less than two minutes in.


From there though, Saint Joseph's took control. A pair of Cloud free throws tied the game at 73-73, while a midcourt steal and layup by de Jonge gave the Hawks the lead for good, 75-73, at 2:35.


Andrews, Shields and Cloud would combine to go 6-for-6 from the foul line from there, while Saint Joseph's defense held the Shockers to 0-for-7 from the floor to close out the extra frame.


In the first half, Wichita State jumped out to an early seven point lead, but a free throw by Fairbanks put SJU up 20-19 at 3:54.


The Shockers would use an 11-3 run to end the half to open a 30-23 edge. Wichita State would go on to outscore SJU 17-8 to start the second half before the frantic comeback by the Hawks.


For the game, the Hawks shot 42.6 percent from the field (26-of-61), 17.6 percent from three-point range (3-of-17) and converted 26-of-34 from the foul line for 76.5 percent. Saint Joseph's finished with a 45-33 edge in rebounds, including 16 offensive boards.


At the other end, Wichita State shot 43.4 percent from the floor (25-of-53), 27.3 percent from behind the arc (3-of-11), but just 58.5 percent from the foul line (24-of-41).


Individually, Andrews finished with a career-best 12 points off the bench, adding four rebounds, three steals and two assists. Shields and classmate Ilze Gotfrida combined for 21 points as five SJU players finished in double figures.


Harden led four Shockers in double figures with 15 points.


The Hawks return to action Wednesday when they host Drexel at 7 p.m.


GAME NOTES: Senior Kelsey Berger added nine points and four rebounds...Freshman Geena Gomez had two points, three rebounds and an assist...classmate Jessica Pongonis added two points, three rebounds an assist and a blocked shot...Kathleen Fitzpatrick played three minutes.