Lexington, Ky. – Senior guard Celia Kline hit a go-ahead three-pointer to deliver the Transylvania women's basketball team a heartstopping 90-87 double overtime victory against the Emory University Eagles in the Gratz Park Private Wealth Classic at the Beck Center on Saturday night.
The three-point shot from Kline was the final dramatic moment in a 50-minute contest full of them and capped off a furious scoring flurry for the Pioneers which began with 8:50 left in the fourth quarter when they trailed the Eagles by 12 points.
The Pioneers outscored Emory, 26-14 over the final 8:50 of regulation to rally and tie up the game at 65-65 to send the contest into overtime.
Each team put up nine points in the first overtime before a pair of clutch free throws by sophomore Zenoviah Walker with one second left in the first extra period forced a second overtime in which the Pioneers outlasted Emory, 16 to 13 on Kline's game-winner.
Transylvania improved to 3-1 on the season while Emory dropped to 2-2 on the year, both losses coming in overtime contests.
Saturday's illustrious classic featured multiple heroes from both teams; junior forward Shelby Boyle posted her third double-double of the season in four games with 23 points, 14 rebounds, one assist, three steals, and a block in 48 minutes of gameplay. Junior wing Ashton Woodard matched Boyle with 23 points and added nine rebounds while shooting 9 for 10 from the foul line.
Kline's last bucket reigned over the evening as part of a 19-point, six-rebound, and six-assist night. Walker was the other double-digit scorer for the Pioneers with 14 rebounds to go with four rebounds and three assists.
The Pioneers survived a 9-for-11 shooting night from downtown by Emory guard Allison Chernow, the game-high scorer with 39 points.
Saturday's contest first manifested as a defensive struggle in which the Pioneers trailed 13-9 after one quarter. Transylvania outscored Emory 17-10 in the second quarter to take a slim 26-23 advantage to the halftime break as each team shot 7-for-22 from the field in the first half.
Emory seized momentum in the third quarter, surging ahead 46-39 as the Eagles shot 4-for-5 from three-point range in the period. The Eagles looked ready to deliver the final blow as Chernow hit another triple to open the fourth quarter and Kennedy Cater followed with an inside bucket for the largest lead of the game at 51-39.
But Boyle and Woodard led a comeback attack, cutting Emory's lead to 56-52 with 4:14 left in the fourth quarter. Emory kept its lead at four before the Pioneers went on a 7-0 run after senior guard Kristen Hayes scored underneath to give the Pioneers a 61-58 lead with 2:13 to go in regulation.
Chernow struck again with a three-pointer to knot up the action at 61-all with 1:54 remaining before each team traded baskets again.
Woodard scored on a runner with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter that put the Pioneers ahead 65-63, but Emory's Erin Lindahl tied the game with 12 ticks of the clock to tie the game once more. Boyle's three-point shot from the left wing fell short as the game progressed into overtime.
Transylvania built a four-point lead 80 seconds into overtime before suffering a scoring drought of three minutes. Emory seized a 74-72 lead off a jumper from Chernow and had an opportunity to put away the game with 25 seconds left. Lindahl missed a jump shot and the Pioneers secured the rebound for a potential game-tying or game-winning shot.
After Kline's shot on a cut and catch fell short, the rebound careened outside to Walker, who was fouled on the successive runner with one second to go. Her clutch free throws sent the game into a second overtime as the game reached grudge-match status.
After more than a minute of futility, Hayes broke open the lid at the 3:54 mark as the teams would end up combining for 29 points in the final extra period. Kline hit a crucial three-pointer with 2:28 left in the second overtime to extend Transylvania's lead to 82-77.
Emory again answered the following possession with a three-pointer from Molly Weiss to cut Transylvania's lead to 82-80, and after Kline scored again on a runner, Chernow knocked down her ninth and final triple of the night to cut Transy's lead to 84-83 with 1:27 left.
The Pioneers went 3 of 4 from the free throw line over their next two possessions to hold on for an 87-85 lead, but Chernow tied the game on a layup with 34 seconds left to force the 87-all tie.
Transylvania marched down and Walker dribbled to her left before kicking the ball out to Kline, who calmly sank a contested three-pointer for the 90-87 lead. Emory's Kennedy Cater broke free for a quality final look at a three-point shot from the left wing that just missed off the front of the iron as the clock expired, giving the Pioneers a win to be savored.
The Pioneers withstood Emory's 14-for-22 night from the 3-point line by hitting on 30 of 37 free throws and forcing 19 Eagle turnovers. Transylvania shot 57 percent from the floor and 9-for-10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to jumpstart the initial comeback.
Emory plays again on Sunday in the second day of the Gratz Park Private Wealth Classic at 1:00 p.m. at the Beck Center versus Denison University while the Pioneers next play on Saturday, December 1 at the Beck Center against Bluffton University as they open up Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play with a 1:00 p.m. tip.
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