SMITHFIELD, R.I. - Selina Mann (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) scored the decisive basket in overtime to help Mount St. Mary's hold on for an 86-84 win in a crazy finish against Bryant in Northeast Conference (NEC) women's basketball action on Saturday.
Mann gave the Mount (8-8, 4-1 NEC) an 85-80 lead with 1:17 left in overtime. The Bulldogs (4-12, 0-5 NEC) then scored four of the final five points and missed three layups in the final five seconds with a chance to tie the game to help the Mountaineers win four of its first league games for the first time since 1999-00.
After Mann scored in the lane, Danielle Douglas hit a jumper with 54 seconds left to trim the margin to three points at 85-82. An offensive foul and a technical foul on the Mount put Katie Whittington at the line for two shots with 39 seconds left to trim the score to 85-84. Whittington made both free throws and then Douglas committed an offensive foul with 27 seconds left to give Mount St. Mary's the ball back. Ashley Christie (Dayton, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) then made the second free throw with 20 seconds left. After a timeout, Bryant had three chances in the final five seconds from underneath the basket but could not find the cylinder to even the score and the Mountaineers came away with the victory.
A game that did not look destined for overtime at the start, the Mount rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to take the lead in the second half and held a 77-75 lead after a layup by Sydney Henderson (Richmond, Va./Atlee) with four seconds left. A Mount foul with 0.2 seconds left put Douglas on the line for two shots and she converted to send the game to overtime.
Henderson fueled the Mount with 21 points while Mann added 17 points, seven rebonds and five assists. Kayla Grossett (Toronto, Ontario/David and Mary Thompson C.I.) added 15 points and Tara Lonergan (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side) chipped in 12 points in the winning effort.
Naana Ankoma-Mensa paced Bryant with 27 points and 20 rebounds. Jenniqua Bailey recorded 18 points and Douglas had 13 points in the loss.
Bryant controlled the first half only to see Mount St. Mary's rally to take the lead. Bryant then was able to tie the game to send it to overtime, but the Mountaineers prevailed in the extra session.
Thanks to nine points by Akoma-Mensa and eight from Bailey, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 28-11 advantage in the first 12 minutes of the game.
The Mountaineers then rolled off a 17-3 run to trim the margin to 33-28 with 1:15 remaining in the stanza. Grossett started the spurt with a trey at 7:05 before Jenn Carney (Drexel Hills, Pa./Archbishop Spalding) hit a jumper and 6:35 ad converted two free throws 31 seconds later to cut the deficit to 10 points. Brewer then drilled a 3-pointer in the corner at the five-minute mark to trim the deficit to 30-23.
After Ankoma-Mensa and Brewer traded baskets, Bailey scored in the lane at 3:13 and Ankoma-Mensa made the front end of two free throws with 2:36 left in the half to give Bryant a 33-23 lead. Carney then drained a triple at 2:18 and jumper to make it a five-point game with 75 seconds left.
The Bulldogs then closed the final minute with three baskets to restore a double-digit lead at 39-28. Bailey capped a 12-point half with a basket off the glass at the buzzer.
Trailing 49-34 with 15:44 remaining in the tilt, Mount St. Mary's went on a 22-5 run to grab a 56-54 lead with 11:11 remaining. Henderson had eight points in the run, including the basket to give the Mountaineers the two-point edge. Neither team could get larger than a five-point lead the rest of the second half.
With the game tied at 61 with 6:03 left, Mann scored in the paint to give the Mountaineers the lead. The squad would go up 73-68 with 1:39 remaining before the Bulldogs scored nine of the final 13 points to send the game to overtime. Whittington hit a trey at 1:27 to make it a two-point game before Mann hit a jumper with 70 seconds on left to give Mount St. Mary's a 75-71 lead. Ankoma-Mensa answered with a layup with 59 ticks remaining. Whittington then tied the game with two free throws with 26 seconds left. Henderson then regained the lead for the Mount, but after a Mountaineer foul with 0.2 seconds left Douglas even the game and sent the contest to overtime where the Mount held on for the victory.
Carney finished with a carer-high nine points.
Dating back to last season, the Mount has won 10 of its last 12 games in the circuit. The Mount shot 62.5 percent in the second half after starting the stanza by hitting 10 of 12 from the field and finished the stanza 20 for 32.
The Mount won its first overtime game since defeating San Francisco 79-77 on Dec. 31, 2010. The squad also rallied from a 17-point deficit in that contest.
Mount St. Mary's returns to action on Monday at Central Connecticut State. Game time is 7 p.m.