By Adam Maser, Hastings (Neb.) Sports Information Director
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) A team that prides itself on the defensive end utilized its defense to help knock off the defending national champions Indiana Wesleyan 73-63 in overtime in a second round match-up at the 2014 NAIA DII Women's Basketball National Championship on Friday night at the Tyson Events Center.
Hastings had its ups and downs with the dribble drive offense of the Wildcats, but Frankie Petersen may came up with one of the biggest plays of her career.
Leading 61-60, Petersen recognized the dribble drive and got her hand on the ball and taking it coast to coast for the lay-up sparking the Broncos in overtime.
Head Coach Carrie Hofstetter and the team are very familiar with this offense, "We’ve seen the dribble drive motion a ton," Hofstetter continued. "We’ve guarded several teams in our conference that run it and those are the type of plays that our kids have been making in guarding that offense. Frankie made a great play and a great finish as that kind of sparked the offense in overtime."
The Broncos continued with back-to-back buckets from Petersen and Laurel Zwiener to push the lead to five.
Hastings seemed to have the game locked up with under two minutes in the half but Indiana Wesleyan would not go quietly.
With the Broncos leading 57-52, Shanelle Farmer had her shot blocked by Chelsea Winner which led to a free-throw for Emma Stahl. Indiana Wesleyan would once again shut down the Broncos and cut the Bronco lead to just two at 57-55 with two more Stahl free-throws.
The Wildcats would get one more stop and then Stahl would connect on the tough lay-up with :14 remaining forcing overtime.
Cami Bruckman who finished with a game high 25 points knew the Wildcats would bring it defensively, "Indiana Wesleyan is a great defensive team as the defending national champions," Bruckman said. "We knew they were going to step up on the defensive end so we had to stop their dribble drive as they are very tough with that."
In overtime as Jamie Van Kirk fouled out, Petersen along with Autumn Zenon came up big seal the victory for the Broncos.
Our seniors have put a lot of work in to their four year careers," Hofstetter said. "They want this, they want to be here, they want to advance."
Zwiener finished the night with a double-double 18 points and 13 rebounds to go along with two blocks and two steals.
With the win, Hastings improves to 28-5 and has set up a quarterfinal match with defending national runner-up Davenport as they are coming off a 110-77 win over Purdue Calumet . Tip-off is set for 6:00 p.m. Saturday March 15 at the Tyson Events Center.