Pages Navigation Menu

Delivering News From The Source

Waldorf tops Governors State in overtime

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Matt Oliver

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. – Taylor Kurtz delivered a buzzer-beating basket on a putback to lift the Waldorf College women’s basketball team past Governors State University in a 100-98 overtime victory on Tuesday.

“It’s a good win for the team since we have had so many close games not go our way this season,” Waldorf coach Katie Schutjer said.

The Warriors (2-20) led 23-18 at the end of the first quarter and went in front by as many as 10 points while building a 47-38 halftime advantage.

Shooting 17-of-35 (48.6 percent) from the field and 6-of-8 (75 percent) from 3-point range in the first half, Waldorf was in control. The Warriors remained in front, 69-57 after three quarters. They shot 43.2 percent for the game, going 32-of-74 from the floor and 12-of-21 (57.1 percent) behind the arc.

Waldorf continued its solid shooting performance and raced to a 74-59 lead with 6 minutes, 29 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

“We shot the ball extremely well, which is why we were able to have a good lead in the second half,” Schutjer said.

Defensive pressure allowed the Jaguars (0-25) to rally. They forced the Warriors to commit 16 second-half turnovers and turned the miscues into 14 points. Governors State scored 12 points off turnovers in the fourth quarter alone.

“They came with some full-court pressure,” Schutjer said. “We panicked and had several turnovers that they were able to score off of.”

Achuynnua Robinson knocked down a pair of free throws as the Jaguars closed out regulation with a 26-11 run and forced overtime with the score tied at 85-all.

Waldorf never trailed and led 96-90 with 1:47 to play in the extra period. Governors State came back, tying the game at 98-all following a layup from Raven Phillips with 12 seconds remaining. The Warriors missed a 3-pointer on the final possession, but Kurtz battled for an offensive rebound to provide the game-winning bucket as time expired.

“I thought our girls did a great job battling through the adversity we were facing and we were able to get a good look to win us the ball game,” Schutjer said.

Samantha Birkes led Waldorf with a career-high 27 points, handed out four assists and collected two steals. The 5-foot-9 freshman guard from Sioux City was on target all night, shooting 7-of-14 (50 percent) from the field and 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) from downtown. Birkes also converted on 9-of-12 (75 percent) foul shots.

Sophomore Jessica Denholm poured in a career-high 26 points for the Warriors. Denholm grabbed five rebounds and turned in three assists. She also lit it up from the perimeter, burying 6-of-10 (60 percent) attempts from 3-point land.

Waldorf freshman Ameh Ogbemudia posted a new career-high with 21 points. She also hauled in five rebounds while hitting 9-of-20 (45 percent) shots from the floor.

Freshman Meriel Leavy chipped in with 11 points and four rebounds. Leavy, who’s averaging 11.5 points through the last four contests, shot 3-of-7 (42.9 percent) from the field in another strong performance.

Kurtz recorded career-highs, dropping in 10 points and pulling down seven boards. The 5-foot-10 freshman forward from Kalona came up big, shooting 62.5 percent on a 5-of-8 effort from the floor.

Freshman Kassidy Bunger scored three points and ripped down a career-high 17 rebounds to lead Waldorf to a 43-34 advantage on the boards. Bunger also came away with two steals. Junior Jenna Quina contributed two points and four rebounds.

Phillips recorded a double-double for the Jaguars with a game-high 36 points and 16 rebounds. She shot 15-of-32 (46.9 percent) from the field in the loss.

Zaporia Smith added 20 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and two steals for Governors State. Robinson closed out the game with 16 points and four assists. Kanitral Averhart finished with nine points, five boards, four steals and three assists. Andreanna Johnson also aided a disruptive defensive effort with four steals for the Jaguars, who racked up 13 steals.

Governors State outscored the Warriors in the paint by a 36-30 margin. The Jaguars shot 36.5 percent, finishing 35-of-96 from the floor and 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) behind the arc.

Waldorf converted on 77.4 percent of its foul shots, sinking 24-of-31 attempts. Governors State went 21-of-30 (70 percent) at the charity stripe.

Despite losing the battle on the boards, the Jaguars came away with a 12-10 edge on the offensive glass to gain a 9-6 advantage in second-chance points.

Governors State owned a 20-9 advantage in points off turnovers, forcing the Warriors to turn the ball over 25 times. The Jaguars committed 13 turnovers.

The victory snapped a 16-game losing streak for Waldorf, which has had eight single-digit losses decided by an average of 6.9 points this season.

With the win, the Warriors look to build on the strengths of their performance and gauge where they can improve while preparing to host Mount Mercy University (12-11) on Monday at 6 p.m.

“This game showed us what we can do well and what we don’t do well,” Schutjer said. “Now, we have to learn from it and continue to work to get better.”