For the first time, AUTrojans.com is counting down Anderson University athletics’ 25 most memorable games, matches and meets from the 2013-14 academic year. This season’s countdown began on Monday, June 16 and will continue throughout the summer.
Be sure to check AUTrojans.com during the offseason to relive all the highlights of another successful year at Anderson.
Willoughby's 3-Pointer Gives Trojans Sixth Straight Victory
November 23, 2013
HICKORY, N.C. – Facing a two point deficit with three seconds remaining, redshirt junior Emily Willoughby connected a long-range 3-pointer to propel Anderson University women’s basketball to a 71-70 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne Saturday afternoon at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
After L-R’s Jazmine Charles sunk two foul shots with eight seconds remaining, the second free throw was called off by line violation on Charles. After AU inbounded the ball, the Bears knocked the ball away from AU junior Jasmine Franklin in front of the Anderson bench with three seconds left. Junior Sierra Simpson fed the ball to Willoughby who turned around to the basket and made a three with 0.7 left.
The Bears tried a long pass after the made basket, but it was mishandled and AU would claim its sixth straight victory.
The win moves Anderson to 6-1 on the season with its only blemish coming by a two-point road loss to then-nationally-ranked USC Aiken. AU is now winners of two-straight against Lenoir-Rhyne, winning a 48-46 game in Hickory a season ago. L-R suffers its first loss, dropping to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in SAC play.
Anderson was able to record five players in double figures, led by Franklin’s 14 points. Junior Lesley Woods went four-for-six from 3-point range, matching freshman Alexis Dillard’s total of 12. Following the trio was sophomore Jennifer Monroe. Despite going 0-for-7 from the field, Monroe went 10-for-10 from the free throw line while pulling down eight rebounds. Simpson would close the game with 10 points, marking her fifth game scoring double digits.
The Trojans were unable to get off to a quick start, recording five turnovers in the opening 12 minutes as they fell behind 17-14 at the 8:31 mark when sophomore Jordan Hiatt knocked down a jumper. After the L-R basket, Anderson controlled the remainder of the half, as the Trojans took the lead with 7:22 left when Simpson knocked in a jumper.
From that point, Anderson would never relinquish the lead, taking a 31-29 lead into halftime. The 31 points marked the lowest first half output since AU’s 28 points against Winston-Salem State (11/14).
L-R chopped into the Anderson lead and eventually took a one-point advantage when senior Danielle Bongiorno dropped in a shot, putting Lenoir-Rhyne up 37-36.
From the Bongionro jumper, the Bears went on a quick 8-1 run to give them their biggest lead of the game at 45-37 with 12:49 remaining.
Facing the large deficit, Anderson flipped the momentum and went on a 10-2 run to even the score at 47-47 with 10:31 left. Monroe highlighted the run with four straight free throws, while Franklin added four from the field.
It was L-R who held the advantage for the remainder of the game, as AU was only able to draw the score even twice for the next seven minutes. After AU mounted a small comeback and Franklin knocked her second of two free throws with 2:17 left to a 65-64 lead, the Bears were able to take the lead back when junior Jenni Gust put in a layup.
Anderson was unable to grab the lead back until the Willoughby game winner for her sixth point of the game, finishing 2-of-3 from behind the arc. Willoughby is now shooting 33 percent (10-for-30) from 3-point range.
“Lenoir-Rhyne is a well-coached team and its players are extremely talented and tough,” head coach Jimmy Garrity said. “We knew that this would be very difficult place to play and I am so proud of the way our team responded to the challenge. We had several players step up when their number was called with nobody bigger than Emily Willoughby when the game was on the line. As a coaching staff, we decided to go for the win with a three instead of going for the tie. I’m happy it worked out.”
Leading the way for the Bears was Charles, who was voted to the 2013 SAC Preseason First Team before the start of the year. Charles poured in 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Gust recorded 16 and Hiatt notched 11. Underneath, freshman Alexis Katt, who started her first collegiate game, pulled down 12 rebounds.