Blossoms Fall To ATU During Tournament Overtime

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Courtesy of
Brian Ramsey

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – No. 1 seed Arkansas Tech used an 8-0 scoring run in the final minute of the second half and the first two minutes of overtime to record a 68-62 victory over the No. 8 seed University of Arkansas-Monticello’s women’s basketball team Thursday in the opening round of the 2013 Great American Conference Championship Tournament inside Bruin Field House.

   The Cotton Blossoms led by as much as seven points five times in the first two periods, including a 56-49 lead with 2:52 remaining in the second half on a free-throw from freshman Jordan Goforth. However, the Golden Suns used an 8-2 scoring run to close out the second half to force an extra five minutes, including a layup from Jessica Weatherford with 15 seconds remaining to finalize the scoring in regulation at 57-all. That layup followed a mishandled pass from UAM on the other end with 33 seconds remaining with the Blossoms leading by two points.

   The Golden Suns extended that 8-2 scoring run into a 12-2 run with a pair of baskets in the first two minutes of overtime to take a 61-57 lead. UAM fought back to within one point on a three-point play from Goforth at the 2:06 mark of overtime, but the Golden Suns scored the game’s final five points to record the six-point win.

   In the first half, the Cotton Blossoms jumped out to its first seven-point lead on a jump shot from freshman Cinderella Linnear at the 16:40 mark, giving her team a 9-2 lead. The Golden Suns fought back to within two points on two different occasions over the next five minutes before UAM sophomore Catherine Puckett nailed a three-pointer and a jumper in the paint to give UAM its second seven-point lead with 9:22 remaining in the half.

   ATU took its first lead of the game with 3:26 remaining in the first half on a jump shot from Roselis Silva to cap a 7-0 scoring run. ATU led for the remainder of the half and took a one-point lead of 27-26 into the locker room at the break.

   For the game, UAM shot 39 percent from the field (25-of-65), 20 percent on three-pointers (4-of-20) and 50 percent on free-throws (8-of-16). ATU shot 42 percent from the field (27-of-65), eight percent on three-pointers (1-of-13) and 57 percent on free-throws (13-of-23).

   Jordan Goforth led the Cotton Blossoms with 23 points on a 9-of-16 shooting performance. She also had six rebounds and two blocked shots. Puckett also reached double-digits with 13 points, while tying junior Ashley Qualls for the team-high in rebounding with nine.

   ATU was paced by Jessica Weatherford’s double-double of 23 point and 16 rebounds. Silva added 20 points, and Jasmine Poole also reached double-digits with 10 points.

   UAM ends its season with an overall record of 6-21. ATU improves to 21-6 overall and advances to the GAC Tournament Semi-Finals on Saturday.

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