(Courtesy: Charlie Hunnicutt)
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (HSU) - Northwestern Oklahoma overcame a four-point deficit late in overtime to beat Henderson State 99-97, Saturday at the Duke Wells Center in Arkadelphia, Ark.
Henderson State, 13-11 overall and 8-10 in the Great American Conference, played its second straight overtime game, but unlike Thursday's game, the Lady Reddies good not come away with a victory.
The Lady Reddies jumped out to an early 18-9 lead as Vanessa Pieper scored four quick points, jumping in front of an errant Lady Ranger pass and taking it the distance for an easy layup with 14 minutes remaining. On the following possession, she drove the right side of the lane for a layup in traffic.
Aungelique Sledge, who ended the game with 26 points, sunk her second 3-point field goal of the game at the 10:05 mark to give HSU a 30-18 lead. Sledge's jumper set the HSU single-season record for 3-point field goals as she surpassed Mandy Hill's record of 70 set during the 2001-02 season.
Northwestern Oklahoma, 6-18 overall and 6-12 in the GAC, took over the rest of the half as the Rangers finished on a 28-5 run and built a 46-35 lead at the break.
Following Sledge's 3-point bucket, Henderson State managed just 2-of-18 in the final 10 minutes of the half, while NWOSU went 9-for-13 from the field.
A big second half for Sledge and Krystal Beachum paved the way for a Lady Reddie comeback, as Henderson slowly cut into the deficit.
The Lady Reddies climbed all the way back with Sledge giving Henderson its first lead of the second half with a layup at the 8:49 mark to make the score 68-67.
The Lady Reddies would turn up the defensive pressure after taking the lead as Northwestern Oklahoma had troubles keeping up with the pace of the game.
Henderson would build an 81-73 lead with 4:06 left to play with the help of three straight layups by Beachum.
NWOSU turned to its inside game as Kemaera Bozeman continued to use her size and help give the Rangers an 84-83 lead with 30 seconds remaining.
Beachum then drove the lane and scored from the left block to give the Lady Reddies an 85-84 lead just seconds later.
Bozeman was fouled on NWOSU's next possession with 8 seconds remaining and converted on one of two free throws to tie the game.
The Lady Reddies were unable to get a shot off following the missed free and the game went to overtime.
In the extra -period, Beachum, the team's lone senior, took over. The Mexia, Texas product tallied eight of the teams 12 points in the extra period but it wasn't enough as Dierra Gilmore drove the lane and scored the eventual game-winning layup with 5.5 seconds.
HSU was unable to come up with an answer as an exhausted Beachum lost handle of the ball as time expired.
After setting the HSU and GAC record for points in a single-game with 41 on Thursday, Beachum led the Lady Reddies with 33 points against the Rangers as well as grabbing 11 rebounds.
Beachum needs just 10 more points to become only the ninth player in Lady Reddies basketball history to score 1,000 point in a career.
Along with her 26 points, Sledge hit six 3-point field goals and added four assists and three steals.
Jasmine Settles pitched in 12 points, while Taylor Washington 10.
The Lady Reddies will next travel across Highway 7 to play Ouachita Baptist on Thursday in the part two of the Southern Bancorp "Battle of the Ravine" with tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. at Vining Arena.