SHAWNEE – It was a heartbreaking end to the season for the Drover women, who dropped to the Southwestern Christian Eagles in a double overtime game on Wednesday in the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament play in round.
While the Drovers (5-19) played a strong game, Paige Pulliam came out as the shining star, scoring a career-high 33 points to make it into the 1,000-Point Club, an exclusive achievement that now three Drover women have earned. She has exactly 1,000 points in her four-year career.
Pulliam, who also led the team in boards with eight, credits her teammates for her career game.
“I’m just heartbroken. I would have rather won,” Pulliam said after the game. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to my teammates. There’s no way I would have gotten 33 tonight without them. They told me before the game, ‘we will get your 33 today.’”
With 41 percent shooting and two overtimes, USAO also grabbed its highest point total of the season, dropping 98-90.
Also scoring big for the Drovers was Sami Martin, who was playing her first game back from an injury. She had 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting.
Senior Rashelle Carr scored 15 and led the team in assists with four. Amber Chaney had 12 points.
The Drovers had a 15-point lead heading into halftime thanks to 41 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes and 12 points that came off of turnovers alone.
“I thought we came out and started really well,” Head Coach Jennifer Hayden said. “I am proud of the team for never giving up. I’m proud of them pushing through.”
As the teams came back from half, the Eagles began to dwindle down the deficit, bringing it within five in the next 10 minutes. The score got as close as a one-point game as the teams traded baskets for the next nine minutes. SCU tied the game with just 50 seconds left on the clock, forcing the game into overtime.
SCU took their first lead since early in the first half with 4:25 left in the first overtime and kept the Drovers on the defensive the rest of the period.
With just seconds left on the clock and the Drovers down by three, the game was looking bleak when Pulliam sunk a much-needed buzzer beating three-pointer to send the game into double overtime.
The second overtime proved to go the Eagles’ way as they outscored the Drovers 22-14 in the final five minutes.
The Eagles move on to take on top-seeded Oklahoma City on Thursday afternoon. Tip off is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. at Oklahoma Baptist’s Noble Complex.