Angelo State 73, West Texas A&M 70 OT
CANYON – To say the Angelo State Rambelles faced long odds in tonight’s NCAA DII South Central Regional semifinal would be a massive understatement. West Texas A&M was hosting the regional and had an amazing crowd of 2,346 in attendance and the Lady Buffs had been to the South Central Regional Finals each of the last five seasons.
Angelo State had entered tonight’s contest having faced WT three times earlier this season and had left with three losses including a 71-55 defeat last Sunday in the Lone Star Conference championship game.
Angelo State got the elusive win defeating the Lady Buffs 73-70 in an overtime thriller.
“That was just a fun basketball game,” said Angelo State head coach Renae Shippy. “WT (West Texas A&M) made big time plays especially down the stretch. I felt like our girls made big time plays down the stretch to put (the game) into overtime and it was back and forth in the overtime.”
Angelo State (25-5) advances to the South Central Regional final for the second time in program history. The team will travel to meet either Colorado Mesa or Lubbock Christian on Tuesday night at a site and time to be determined.
The Belles would show they were not intimidated early as they jumped out to a 21-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. West Texas A&M methodically worked its way back into the game and eventually take a 60-57 lead with 23 seconds left.
Dezirae Hampton would bank a crucial 3-point attempt off the glass with 13 seconds remaining for Angelo State to send the game into overtime.
“No, I was just praying to God it was going in,” said Dezirae Hampton on if she called glass on the shot. “It was go time. I fought for my seniors and my team. I knew we needed this win (and) I know needed a big shot.”
Marquita Daniels scored a game-high 23 points to lead Angelo State. De’Anira Moore would add 18 points while Maria Delgado recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds and Dezirae Hampton added 12 points for the Belles.
Lexy Hightower would score 15 of her 17 points for the Lady Buffs in the second half.
“She struggled a little early on,” said West Texas A&M head coach Kristen Mattio on her junior leader. “She got a good look at the start of the third quarter and I think that helped propel her. She has to work so hard for every point.”
Senior Tyesha Taylor would lead West Texas A&M with 19 points and senior Deleyah Harris added eight points and 13 rebounds for the Lady Buffs.
West Texas A&M ends another incredible season with a trip to the South Central Regional semifinals and a 29-3 overall record.
“We have a lot of talented young players coming back and we’re going to have a really good senior class,” said Mattio looking ahead to next year. “It depends on what we do in the offseason. We’ll have to fill some spots from some of our seniors.”
Lubbock Christian 56, Colorado Mesa 53
Lubbock Christian and Colorado Mesa were in a knock out fight throughout the entire NCAA DII South Central Regional semifinal on Saturday night. Lubbock Christian got the last punch and finished with a 7-0 run over the final 2:58 seconds to defeat Colorado Mesa 56-53 in Grand Junction, Colo.
Lubbock Christian (28-5) advances to the NCAA DII South Central Regional final on Tuesday night when it will host Angelo State with the winner advancing to the Elite 8.
The Lady Chaps held the Mavericks without any field goals in the final 3:09 of the contest while also forcing three huge turnovers during that span.
Colorado Mesa led 26-23 at the half over the Lady Chaps but Lubbock Christian was able to win the second half 33-27.
Olivia Robertson led Lubbock Christian with a game-high 20 points including 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Maddie Chitsey added 15 points for the Lady Chaps.
Kylyn Rigsby led Colorado Mesa with 12 points while Jaylyn Duran and Daniella Turner each added 10 points for the Mavericks.
Colorado Mesa ends another highly successful season with a 27-4 overall record.