Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wingate wins double-overtime thriller 106-98 over King (Tenn.)

Wingate, N.C.----The Wingate University Bulldogs outscored King College 15-7 in the second overtime en route to a 106-98 victory over the Tornado in NCAA Division II women’s basketball action Saturday afternoon in Cuddy Arena. The Bulldogs improve to 5-3 overall, while King falls to 2-12 overall on the season.
Junior guard Kurie Washington (Marion, N.C.) poured in 30 points to lead the Wingate attack on the afternoon. Sophomore guard Sarah Wollett (Raleigh, N.C.) added a career-high 21 points for the Bulldogs. Freshman guard Janitsha Williams (Statesville, N.C.) had 12 points, while junior guard Tiffany Brown (Cartersville, Ga.) contributed 11 points.

Six players scored in double figures for King, who knocked down 16-of-30 three pointers on the afternoon. Senior guard Derika Mooney (Athens, Tenn.) had 17 points, while senior forward Ashley Deans (Greeneville, Tenn.) added 16. Freshman guard Jessica Tharpe (Sevierville, Tenn.) and sophomore guard Brooke Johnson (Roan Mountain, Tenn.) contributed 15 points each, while freshman guard Brianna Kelley (Greeneville, Tenn.) chipped in with 11 points.
A triple from Wollett gave the ‘Dogs a 10-point lead nine minutes into the game. The Tornado battled back, getting a three from Tharpe and a jumper from junior forward Kalen Collins (Wise, Va.) to make it 24-22 at the 9:06 mark. Wingate answered with an 11-0 run to push the lead to 13. Washington hit a pair of free throws and a three in the flurry, while freshman forward Chantal Dunbar (Norfolk, Va.) capped it with a jumper and a lay-up to make it 35-22 with 5:38 to go in the half. A three-point play from Tharpe sliced the lead to six with a minute remaining, but Wollett drained a jumper with 45 seconds to go to give the Bulldogs a 44-36 lead at halftime.
Rutledge hit two free throws to give Wingate a 55-40 advantage four minutes into the second half. A pair of free throws and a three-point play from Washington gave the ‘Dogs a 62-48 edge seven minutes into the second half. King cut into the lead, getting a lay-up from Collins and jumper from junior guard Jana Gross (Dayton, Ohio) to make it 67-60 at the 9:25 mark. Williams knocked down a jumper to push the lead to eight with 7:52 remaining, but threes from Kelley and Mooney quickly cut Wingate’s lead to two with 6:42 to go. A pair of Mooney free throws tied the game 73-73 at the 5:27 mark.
A pair of free throws from Brown, followed by a jumper from Brown, put the Bulldogs on top 83-78 with 2:30 remaining. King would score the next seven points, taking its first lead since leading 3-1 in the opening minute. Tharpe drained a three to start the spurt, while Deans tied it with a lay-up at the 1:26 mark. Deans followed with a lay-up with 31 seconds left to give the Tornado an 85-83 lead. The Bulldogs turned to Wollett, who knocked down a jumper from the paint with 16 seconds remaining to tie it and force the first overtime.
Two free throws each from Johnson and Deans gave the Tornado a four-point lead two minutes into overtime. Jumpers from Wollett and Washington tied the contest 89-89 at the 1:45 mark. King regained the lead on a jumper from Deans with 1:24 to go. Rutledge knocked down a free throw with 55 seconds remaining, while a free throw from freshman forward Shey Brown (Rockingham, N.C.) tied it with 10 seconds remaining. King had a chance for the win, but Johnson could not connect on a potential game-winning jumper at the buzzer, forcing a second overtime.
The Bulldogs came out on fire in the second overtime, scoring the first nine points. Washington hit a fast break lay-up four seconds into the period to give Wingate the lead for good. A triple and a lay-up from Wollett gave the ‘Dogs a 100-91 lead. A three from Gross cut the lead to six with 26 seconds to go, but Rutledge knocked down a pair of free throws to push the advantage back to eight.
The Bulldogs shot 49.3 percent from the field, while hitting five-of-11 from three-point range (45.5 percent). Wingate hit 35-of-43 free throws on the afternoon (81.4 percent) while holding a 16-2 advantage in fast break points. King shot 46.6 percent from the field, while hitting 14-of-17 free throws on the day (82.4 percent). Wingate also held a 46-26 advantage in points in the paint, while outrebounding King 41-38. The Bulldogs converted 33 King turnovers into 35 points.
Wingate returns to action Dec. 29, taking on UNC Pembroke at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs will meet the UNCP Braves in the third annual Bobcat Holiday Classic (hosted by Georgia College & State University) Dec. 29-30 in Milledgeville, Ga. Wingate returns home Jan. 8, hosting 2010 Elite Eight participant Tusculum College at 2 p.m. King is back in action Jan. 3, hosting Brevard College at 6 p.m.

            (Wingate University assistant sports information director Hugh Patton wrote this article. Patton is a 2006 Wingate graduate with a B.A. degree in Communication Studies.)

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