Ahlin's Last-Second Layup Lifts Trojans Past Upper IowaNovember 24, 2012
Trojans Finish Second at Mt. McKinley Bank North Star Invitational
FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Senior Tilde Ahlin banked in a short jumper with 1.6 seconds left to give the Anderson women’s basketball team a dramatic, 64-62, come-from-behind win past Upper Iowa as the Trojans wrapped up action in Alaska-Fairbanks’ Mt. McKinley Bank North Star Invitational Saturday night at the Patty Center.
Ahlin’s short bank shot for the game-winning score came off an inbounds pass from nearly half court from senior teammate Alissa Diaz with just 3.9 seconds on the clock and capped a furious rally by the Trojans in the final minutes.
Anderson (4-3) closed its five-game road swing by winning its second straight contest and finished with a 2-1 record in the event to finish as runner-up. Upper Iowa fell to 3-3 with its second consecutive loss.
The Trojans trailed 58-48 with 7:10 left in the game after the Peacocks’ Carly Pagel gave UIU the double-digit lead on a traditional three-point play, but Anderson closed the contest with a 16-4 run to capture the victory.
Sophomore point guard Sierra Simpson scored four points during the decisive rally, with Diaz adding six, including the basket that knotted the score for just the fourth time of the night with 1:27 remaining. Upper Iowa’s Jennifer Herrick connected on a pair of free throws with just more than a minute left to give the Peacocks a two-point lead, but AU’s Breonda Shannon calmly sank two free throws on the other end to again tie the score with 48.3 showing.
The Trojan defense then forced a turnover and Upper Iowa fouled Simpson on the inbounds play with 30 seconds remaining. She was unable to connect on the first of a one-and-one, but corralled her own miss. Senior guard Amanda Parris had her 3-point attempt with six seconds remaining blocked, but the ball came right back to her and AU called timeout, setting up the final heroics.
The duo of Ahlin and Diaz dropped in back-to-back layups to give Anderson a 9-5 edge to open the game with 16:20 on the clock, and after the Peacocks countered with five straight points to take their first lead of the half, at 10-9, on sophomore Olivia Meier’s layup, the Trojans took a 19-12 advantage on the strength of a 10-2 run over the next two minutes. Parris sparked the outburst with a 3-pointer from the right wing, with sophomore Lesley Woods capping the run with another trey from deep in the right corner.
Upper Iowa responded with seven unanswered points to even the score for just the second time of the night, at 19 apiece, but was unable to retake the lead until Herrick drained a 3-pointer as part of a 17-2 outburst by Upper Iowa that gave the Peacocks a 29-21 lead with 4:37 left in the first half, with a rare five-point possession capping the run. Herrick connected on the 3-pointer from the left wing and a foul was whistled on the Trojans, giving the Peacocks possession. AU was called for another foul and Herrick dropped in a pair of free throws for the eight-point lead.
Anderson freshman Jasmine Franklin snapped the run with a steal and layup, but Upper Iowa extended its lead to 10 points twice, before Woods knocked down back-to-back 3s and Diaz drained her first 3-pointer of the contest, as the Trojans closed the first half with a 9-2 run.
Anderson continued the surge into the second frame, with the Trojans recapturing a brief 38-37 edge as Diaz scored the first four points of the half. But the Peacocks responded with a 9-2 run to reclaim the advantage and pushed out to a nine-point lead, 55-46, on another Meier triple midway through the final half – and garnered their largest lead of the game, 58-48, on Pagel’s traditional three-point play with 7:10 left.
Diaz finished with a season-high 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, while Woods added nine points. Shannon shared rebounding honors, pulling down seven boards, while Ahlin handed out a career-best five assists.
Herrick netted a team-high 18 points, with Whitney Kieffer chipping in 11 for the Peacocks and Pagel adding 11.
Winona State won the tournament, with Upper Iowa claiming third and host Alaska finishing fourth.
The Trojans return to the Lower 48 and have a six-day layoff before opening South Atlantic Conference action by playing host to Catawba on Saturday. The Indians swept AU last season en route to posting an impressive 19-10 overall record and taking second place in the league’s regular-season standings.