By Rick Bentley, Pikeville Sports Information Director
FRANKFORT, Ky. – (Box Score) Dev King sank two free throws with three seconds remaining to give No. 5 Georgetown (Ky.) a 70-68 win over No. 4 Vanguard (Calif.) in the opening round of the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship presented by Kentuckytourism.com Wednesday afternoon at the Frankfort Convention Center.
The win sends the Tigers into Friday afternoon’s second round, where they will meet Avila (Mo.), which pulled off the day’s most shocking result by beating Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 82-80 in double-overtime. The game will top off at 4:30 p.m. EST.
Georgetown (22-9) won on a day it hit only 37.3 percent from the floor and was 10-of-19 from the line. It did so by limiting the Lions to 28.6 percent shooting from the arc, while making only 6-of-13 from the free-throw line.
The game was tight the entire first half, with the teams tied on five occasions and never separated by more than five points. The poor shooting was evident early, as the teams combined to shoot only 31.4 percent.
Vanguard (23-7) took a 29-28 lead to intermission.
The Lions maintained the lead for much of the half, and when Esther Timmermans scored with 7:02 to play, the advantage was finally double figures at 58-48.
Vanguard led 60-50 less than a minute later when Georgetown exploded for 10 unanswered points. It needed only 1:39 to tie the count, coming on a 3-point play by Jessica Waddle. The senior had six in the stretch and tied the game with 4:09 to play at 60.
From there the biggest margin came when Mikkah Rogers nailed a three with 20 seconds left to put the Tigers on top 68-65. But the edge lasted only 13 ticks of the clock as All-Golden State Athletic Conference pick Paige Halberg evened it with a triple of her own.
That set the stage for Waddle’s heroics, and when Halberg missed a desperation shot at the end the Tigers had reached the second round of the tournament for the first time since a 2005 trip to the quarterfinals.
Waddle hit four 3-point shots to lead the Tigers with 15 points. Freshman Angie Lawrence came off the bench for 13. Lizza Jones led her team to a 51-38 advantage on the glass with 11 rebounds.
Halberg led all scorers with 18 points for the Lions. Timmermans recorded her ninth double-double of the season when she scored 12 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.