HOUSTON — After trailing by as much as 21 points in the first half, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff women’s basketball nearly came away with a victory Tuesday but the Lady Lions fell just short of a miracle as they lost 83-81 to Grambling State in overtime in the first round of the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament.
Trailing 83-81 with 21 seconds left, sophomore Cassidy Wright missed a three-pointer but Amber Haggie grabbed the rebound and tried for the putback but missed it as well.
Grambling (11-19) grabbed the defensive rebound to seal the victory. The Tigers advance to play Texas Southern Wednesday at 10 a.m.
The Lady Lions (3-26) had a two-point lead with less than two minutes left in overtime thanks to a made jumper by Wright.
Grambling quickly answered with a bucket of its own to tie the game but UAPB retook the lead thanks to Carlisha Walker’s made free throw with 1:22 left in overtime.
A pair of free throws made by Joanna Miller gave Grambling an 82-81 lead with 52 seconds left.
It would be the last time the lead would change hands.
Wright finished with a team-high 24 points including 6 of 10 from the three-point arc. She was 8 of 17 from the floor and 2 of 2 from the free-throw line.
UAPB senior Christina Lasane had 23 points and was 7 of 20 from the floor and 7 of 10 from the free-throw line. She also grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists.
Destiny Ham contributed with 11 points and Charisse Carr chipped in with eight points. Walker finished with six points and five rebounds.
The Lady Lions — who trailed by 10 points at halftime — were 27 of 64 (42 percent) from the floor and 10 of 22 (45.5 percent) for three-pointers and 17 of 27 (63 percent) from the line.
The Lady Lions led by as much as seven points in the second half. Tuesday’s 81 points was the most points the Lady Lions had scored all season.
Miller finished with a game-high 27 points including 14 of 18 from the free-throw line. Tyler Anderson finished with a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds.
Dennisha Chambers had 19 points on 5 of 9 shooting and six rebounds. Jasmine Godbolt contributed with nine points and four rebounds.
Grambling was 24 of 66 (36.4 percent) from the floor and 34 of 57 (59 percent) from the free-throw line.