Anyssa Hampton

March 1, 2024 Athletics

women's basketball game

NOTRE DAME, IN. – Olivet Nazarene University’s women’s basketball team punched their ticket to the CCAC championship game with a thrilling 73-72 overtime victory over the Holy Cross College Saints on Thursday night.

The Tigers found themselves down early, as the Saints grabbed a quick five-point lead in the opening minutes. However, ONU displayed their resilience, going on an 11-2 run to seize control of the quarter. Despite a late surge from Holy Cross, the Tigers clung to a narrow 13-11 lead heading into the second.

The second quarter saw both teams trading baskets, with ONU maintaining a slight edge. Preslee Michael and Bett O’Neal combined for four points late in the quarter, pushing the Tigers’ lead to 12 points. The Saints managed to chip away at the deficit in the closing seconds, but ONU entered halftime leading 31-22.

Brooklyn Marshall opened the scoring in the third with a jump shot, but the Saints answered with free throws and a jump shot of their own, signaling their intent to mount a comeback. The remainder of the quarter was a back-and-forth affair, with ONU keeping their foot on the gas. A late three-pointer from Holy Cross brought them within four points, but the Tigers responded with six consecutive free throws to extend the lead back to double-digits. Olivia Dirkse‘s buzzer-beating three sent ONU into the final quarter with a 54-43 advantage.

The drama truly unfolded in the fourth quarter. The Saints opened with a flurry, putting up five consecutive points followed by back-to-back threes to tie the game at 61 with less than five minutes remaining. The final minutes saw both teams trading baskets and exchanging leads, but neither side could pull away. Ultimately, the score remained deadlocked at 65 at the end of regulation, forcing overtime.

Marshall got things rolling in the extra period with two free throws, but the Saints wouldn’t go down without a fight. Back-to-back threes gave them the lead, but ONU refused to yield. The Tigers strung together five points down the stretch, with clutch free throws and a key basket sealing the victory, 73-72.

What’s Next
The Tigers will now set their sights on the CCAC Championship game, where they will travel to South Bend, IN. to face Indiana University South Bend on March 2nd. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. CST. 

Originally published by ONU Athletics on onutigers.com


Anyssa Hampton

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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