Lady 'Canes win OT battle with UNCP, 71-68

AMERICUS - Jessica Bivins scored a season-high 22 points to rally the Georgia Southwestern women's basketball team from a 14-point deficit to a 71-68 overtime victory over UNC Pembroke on Sunday afternoon at the Storm Dome.

UNCP jumped to the early lead with a 10-2 run to open the game. The Lady Braves eventually pushed the margin to 14 points (26-12) with 4:17 left in the first half.

A Bivins jumper with 23 seconds remaining in the half capped a 10-1 run and pulled GSW within five points (27-22) at the break.

Bivins struck again with a three-point basket at the 18:37 mark of the second period to give the Lady Hurricanes their first lead (29-28) since 1-0.

From there, the teams went back-and-forth, exchanging the lead ten times over the next 16 minutes.

A Tania Walters free throw with 2:06 on the clock gave the Lady 'Canes the lead once again, 57-56, and Nadirah Gardner extended the cushion to three points with her layup with 58 seconds remaining.

UNCP connected on four-consecutive free throws in the final minute to force overtime.

In the extra session, the Lady Braves held the lead briefly at 66-65, but Southwestern pulled ahead on a pair of Terra Branch free throws and sealed the win with another Bivins three-pointer.

UNCP (5-10, 1-6 PBC) shot 40 percent from the floor for the game, while GSW hit 38.4 percent.

The Lady Hurricanes controlled the boards with a 51-39 rebounding advantage and led in second-chance points, 23-17.

A trio of GSW players joined Bivins with double-digit scoring. Cierra Duhart added 11 points and nine rebounds. Walters and Gardner chipped in 10 points apiece.

JaToya Kemp led UNCP with 19 points and eight rebounds. Talena Faison scored 13 and Courtney Bolton added 10.

GSW (8-6, 2-3) returns to action on Wednesday with a PBC matchup against North Georgia at 5:30 p.m. in Americus.