Header Pic: Hanna Roney – Credit: Florida Tech Athletics
Florida Tech (2-12, 0-9 SSC) and Barry played one of the wildest games you will ever see on Wednesday at Miami Shores, with the Buccaneers (10-2, 7-1 SSC) coming out on top, 92-89 in three overtimes.
“I didn’t think we played well in the first half but I am very proud of the way this team kept fighting,” said Panthers coach John Reynolds. “Every time it looked like we were out of it, we made shots we needed.”
Hannah Roney led the Panthers with 30 points and she was the reason this game went to overtime. She got an offensive rebound and a put-back to force the first OT with the game tied at 67. In the first OT, she was good on a layup and was fouled, giving her a chance at the tying free throw. She hit it and the game was tied at 77. Barry missed a three at the buzzer and this game went to a second overtime.
In the second OT, she did it again, hitting a three to tie things up 0.7 seconds left, drilling a three, and tying the game at 86. That sent this game to improbable third overtime.
“Hannah must have played 25 minutes with four fouls,” said Reynolds. “She has great basketball sense and she never put herself in a position to foul out.”
Aiste Vaitekunaite would connect on two free throws to close the gap to 90-89, but Harriett Swindells scored all six points for Barry in the third overtime, including two free throws with 17 seconds left Barry the three-point victory. Swindells finished with 22 points.
There was absolutely no flow to this game as the teams combined for 91 free throws. No, you did not read that wrong. The Bucs were 33-for-46 from the line (72 percent), while Florida Tech went 29-for-45 (64 percent). The 91 free throws were six shies of the NCAA Division II record.
Combine that with a total of 61 turnovers between the two teams, and it was one for the memory bank, for sure.
Five Florida Tech players fouled out, while Barry had two.
Reynolds said the game was officiated fairly despite the fouls being so overwhelming. “I thought, in the end, it was pretty balanced,” he said. “They set the style of play and called things both ways. I do think at some point you have to let them play, but it was officiated closely.”
Vaitekunaite and Fanny Paulin started the game with back-to-back threes to get the Panthers going but the Bucs ended the quarter on a 13-4 run and led 13-10 after 10 minutes.
After Roney hit two free throws to start the second quarter Barry went on an 8-0 run and led 21-12. Cheyenne Scott then hit a three and a Vaitekunaite hoop closed the gap to 21-17. After a Barry three, Roney hit a shot and it was 24-21. A free throw by Scott made it 24-22 at the half.
Barry’s 10-0 run in the third was ended when Roney hit a three to 36-28 with 4:13 left. Barry led 49-36 with 15 seconds left, before two free throws by Lina Stranger-Johannessen made it 49-38 headed into the fourth.
Chiara Fusari hit a three with 8:06 left to put Tampa up 54-41. Roney answered to cut the lead to 10. Fusari finished with a game-high 32 points.
Barry was up 60-48 with 3:14 left. Before the Panthers started chipping away. Swindells made two free throws with 44 seconds left and made it 64-56. Consecutive layups from Roney made it 64-60. Vaitiekunaite cut it to two before the Bucs went up 66-62 with 11 seconds left.
Roney cut it to one with a three with eight seconds left. She would get a chance to tie the game moments later, but her shot was blocked. She was savvy enough to get it back and put it up at the buzzer to tie it at 67 and get it to overtime.
Barry led by as many as five in the first overtime before Roney hit the layup to cut it to 77-76 with 24 seconds left. She would be fouled on the play and make the free throw to tie. The home team would lead by five again in the second OT, before Roney’s big three tied things at 86, forcing the third overtime, where Barry finally kept the pressure on and hung on for the win.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Barry Box Score
Florida Tech returns home this Saturday to host Lynn at the Clemente Center. The game tips off at 2:00 p.m.