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Eastern Oregon Plucks Overtime Thriller

March 09, 2012
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By Jake Knabel, NAIA Communications & Sports Information Intern

Sioux City, Iowa – (Box Score) All the pressure fell on the shoulders of Eastern Oregon’s Brooke Randall as she toed the free throw line with her team trailing 59-57 with .07 seconds remaining in regulation. The junior guard calmly knocked down a pair of free throws to force the first overtime period of the 2012 State Farm-NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship. The 24th-ranked Mountaineers would go on to eliminate No. 6 Concordia (Mich.) by a score of 70-63.

Eastern Oregon played from behind for the majority of the game and trailed 27-22 at the half. But the Mountaineers would take control in overtime as they rode Randall, who also drilled two free throws to begin the overtime session. Brittany Simmons’ bucket in the paint got Concordia within two points at 65-63 with 2:03 remaining in what would prove to be its last gasp. The Cardinals would go scoreless the rest of the way and the Mountaineers’ Kyle Miller capped the game with two free throws.

Randall scored 16 of her 18 points after the first half to lead all players. She also tallied seven rebounds in serving as the catalyst in boosting Eastern Oregon to its first ever appearance in the national quarterfinals. Miller chipped in 17 points, five rebounds and four assists.

A day after Concordia’s Kortni Elsworth was featured on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays for a 70-foot buzzer beating shot, the Cardinals failed to carry the momentum over. Elsworth went just 1-for-5 from the field and Concordia shot 30.4 percent as a team. Hannah Sabol led the team with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Eastern Oregon (25-8) will play Saturday at 3 p.m. versus the winner between College of the Ozarks (Mo.) and Hastings (Neb.) with a spot in the semifinals on the line.