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Bethel Squeaks Out Nail-Biter Over Concordia

March 21, 2015
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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – (Box Score) No. 2-seed Bethel (Tenn.) put an impressive run together on Friday against the No. 3-seed Concordia (Calif.). The Lady Wildcats needed overtime to complete an 86-85 win in on day two of competition at the 2015 NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship, presented by Susan G. Komen greater Kansas City.

The Lady Wildcats put on a show in the opening minutes of play in the final game on Friday night. The team began the contest on a 14-0 run, which was ended by Janis Peterson’s 3-pointer, to give Bethel a 14-3 advantage.

Though things looked to be on the way to a potential blowout, the Eagles came back, not only make it close, but to take a 39-36 lead at the break.

Bethel led by as many as 16 in the opening 20 minutes, but the Eagles began to mount a comeback as Jasmine Crawford dropped-in a bucket to begin a Concordia run.

The Eagles used the next 6:58 to come all the way back. Concordia outscored the Lady Wildcats 25-6 in that span to grab the three-point advantage heading into the break.

Bethel regrouped in the second half and slowly regained the lead as time wound down. Tayla Foster was simply great in this one and led effort for the Lady Wildcats down the stretch. The senior transfer from Tennessee State University posted 36 points in regulation, 20 of which were in the final 20 minutes of regulation.

Bethel led by as many as 10 at the 5:46 mark, but Concordia, once again, mounted an impressive comeback. The Eagles went on a 20-10 run to send the game to overtime, but lost a key piece to the puzzle in the process.

Concordia leading scorer Janis Peterson fouled Tayla Foster with five seconds remaining in regulation and fouled out of the game just prior to overtime. This proved to be a valuable player that the Eagles missed in the extra session.

With time winding down and the game tied again at 85, Concordia’s Katie Ogden fouled Martessia Williams with the game on the line and just over four seconds remaining. Williams missed the first, but drained the second to seal the fate for the team from Irvine, Calif.

Janis Peterson finished with 32 points, which was seven points shy of a career-high. Jasmine Crawford (13 points) and September Offutt (11 points) also finished in double figures for the Eagles.

Kenyatta Drake was also instrumental in the victory for the Lady Wildcats. The senior guard notched 23 points in the victory.

With the win, Bethel will advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday evening where it will face No. 1-seed Campbellsville (Ky.). Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. at the Independence Event Center.

GAME NOTES
With Friday’s loss, Concordia remained winless against teams from the state of Tennessee in program history… Tayla Foster’s 37 points was a career-high. Her previous high was 34 points netted on Nov. 15, 2014 against College of the Ozarks (Mo.)… Bethel leading scorers Kenyatta Drake and Tayla Foster combined for 60 points in the contest. The duo also both hail from Madisonville, Ky., and were teammates at Madisonville North Hopkins High School… Tonight’s overtime game was the first at the 2015 Championship