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Bethel Uses Late-Game Magic to Avoid Collapse, 62-61

Game 14_Bethel vs WWU
March 19, 2015
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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – (Box Score) A long 3-pointer by Shamon Pearson with 2.9 seconds remaining helped No. 2 Bethel (Tenn.) escape a furious rally by No. 7 William Woods (Mo.), 62-61, after blowing a 22-point second half lead. The win slips the Lady Wildcats into the second round of the 2015 NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City.

With the win, the Lady Wildcats (31-3) punched their ticket to a Friday night contest with the winner of No. 3 Concordia (Calif.) and No. 6 Carroll (Mont.) up next.

Tayla Foster’s 18 first half points helped the Lady Wildcats to a 16-point halftime lead of 38-22.

The Lady Wildcats, particularly Foster, were unstoppable in the first 20 minutes. The senior forward led all scorers with 18 first-half points. Foster had seven rebounds and was 6-for-19 from the floor, including launching 13 three-pointers, making three.

At the end of the first session, William Woods had 22 points, outscoring Foster by only four.

Foster was the focal-point of the Bethel attack, as almost every offensive set went through the star. As a team, the Lady Wildcats put up 45 shots in the first half, with someone other than Foster accounting for eight made buckets (14-of-45)

The tide turned mid-way through the second half.

After multiple turnovers and missed shots, followed up by multiple 3-point makes by the Owls, the seven seed kept chipping away at the deficit.

Before you knew it, the game was tied at the 3:52 mark at 53 apiece. Forty-nine seconds later, Marissa Webb gave William Woods its first lead of the game at 56-55 after the hoop and the harm. The Owls’ lead stretched to as big as three with 2:24 left in regulation. Both teams went back-and-forth trading the lead when the Owls’ Kelsey Scherder drained a deep three-pointer to get her team back ahead, 61-59, with 24 seconds on the clock.

On the next Lady Wildcats possession, Jackliann Street rebounded a wayward shot and kicked it out Pearson who was locked and ready in the corner – and she delivered.

Bethel only shot nine-of-30 in the second half, including making only one three-point basket in nine tries. Foster led all shot-takers with 26 points and nine rebounds, but had to watch the rest of the game after fouling out late in the game. Kenyatta Drake joined her in double-figures with 13.

Williams Woods closes the book on the season with a 23-9 record. Blake French led all Owls with 18 points on the night. French was the only William Woods player to hit the double-digit mark.

The first 30 games of the 2015 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship is available live on the NAIA Network. For packages and pricing visit www.NAIANetwork.com.

Championship Information

NAIA DI Women's Basketball Championship
Official Merchandise