Emily Sheldon is not only a shooter – she leads the Northwest Conference in scoring at 20.2 points per game.
So being on the other side, and watching an opposing team sink 3-pointer after 3-pointer, the University of Puget Sound senior took a different approach.
Tip your cap.
And try and try again to defend it.
Willamette made 12 3-pointers, but needed No. 13 to send the game into overtime. The Loggers eked out a 67-64 victory Friday night at Memorial Fieldhouse in Tacoma.
And on Mary Eckenrode’s game-tying attempt with 3 seconds to go, Sheldon deflected enough of the shot that it came up well short.
“They wanted a (3-pointer). If they get a layup, we still win,” Sheldon said. “It was definitely easier (defending the play).”
After a three-week layoff, UPS (7-5, 2-1 in NWC) snapped a two-game skid.
Despite scoring a game-high 19 points, and notching her second double-double of the season (10 rebounds), it was an off game shooting for the guard from Portland. She made eight of 19 field goal attempts, and her only real hot stretch came at the end of the first quarter with 10 points.
She also missed two free throws with 14.9 seconds remaining that would have put the game away.
On nights like Friday, that is why it is imperative her running mate – junior Alexis Noren – gets it going. And she did in the third quarter.
In the first 5:20, Noren scored five points, had five assists and had two steals as the Loggers opened on a 17-7 run.
“She is so active defensively. She is a difference maker,” UPS coach Loree Payne said. “It changes how offensive players have to play, and how offensive systems have to run.”
The Bearcats (9-3, 1-2) fired away from the 3-point line (12 of 26) to get back into it, but could not get the game to overtime.
At Linfield 67, Pacific Lutheran 53: Quincy Gibson led three Wildcats in double figures with 16 points, sending the Lutes to their first NWC road defeat in McMinnville, Oregon.
Ionna Price led all scorers for the Lutes (5-7, 1-2) with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
At UPS 87, Willamette 54: Kohl Meyer had his fourth double-double of the season – 12 points, 10 rebounds – as the Loggers used a balanced effort to topple the Bearcats in Tacoma.
The Loggers’ bench tallied 45 points, led by Timmy Saunders’ team-high 13 points. UPS also forced 23 Willamette turnovers.
UPS (7-5, 2-1) has won five of its past six games.
At Linfield 53, PLU 51: Kevin Hurley sank the game-winning jumper with five seconds to go, and the Wildcats handed PLU its first conference loss with a comeback victory in McMinnville.
Jared Christy had tied it for the Lutes (9-3, 2-1) at 51-51 with two free throws with 33 seconds to go.