In a contest which was close throughout, the EP Lady Panthers went from elation to anguish in a matter of seconds as a go ahead bucket by EP’s Olivia Purvis with only seconds left in the game was outdone by a three-point bucket by Riverdale’s Alexis Duke at the buzzer to snatch a conference win away from the Panthers.
The Panther held a 9-6 lead after one with Kennedy Buck collecting 6 points and the Rams staying close with a pair of three-point buckets.
Both teams played tough defense not allowing many good looks in the second quarter. The Rams again used the three-point shot to stay close as the teams went to the half with EP up 17-15.
The third quarter saw the offensive emergence of Ram’s junior, Carrieanne Hungate. After being held scoreless in the first half she made her 5’10” presence known as she was able to heat up in the lane and at the line going 6/6 in the second half. Her free throws at the 6:18 mark gave the Rams their first lead since early in the game. The Rams stretched their lead to 6 with under a minute left in the quarter but the Panthers responded. A slick pass in the lane from Sydney Schwartz to Hannah Huisman and a similar play from Buck to Gabi Abell at the buzzer made it 27-25 Rams after three.
A problem that had been brewing in the second half finally became a factor as the Rams went into the double bonus at the start of the fourth quarter. The Rams made the most of their opportunities at the line as they went 5/6 in the final frame and were 12/16 on the night.
The Panthers who had started an offensive run at the end of the third quarter stretched it to 9-0 on a bucket by Huisman to put EP up 32-29 with just over 6 minutes left in the game.
The Rams responded putting together their own 6-0 run to go up 35-32 at the 3:50 mark. On the Panther’s next possession a three-point bucket by Abell, her third of the night, tied the game at 35.
Free throws put the Rams in the lead 38-35 with with just over a minute left in the contest, but Kennedy Buck calmly hit a step back three with 55 seconds to go in the contest to tie the game.
Following a timeout, with 26 ticks to go the Rams turned the ball over on a double-dribble call giving the Panthers a chance for the lead. An inbounds play following a time out saw Olivia Purvis dribbled into the lane and connect on a fourteen footer to put EP up 40-38. The Rams did not hesitate after the basket pushing the ball up the floor with junior Alexis Duke hoisting a desperation three that hit the mark as the buzzer sounded giving the Rams a 41-40 win.
Buck led EP with 16 as Abell and Purvis each contributed 9. Hungate had 14 for the Rams.
The Lady Panthers will take part in the IHMVCU Shoot Out on Saturday taking on Wilton, Iowa at 12:30 in the Carver Center on the campus of Augustana College.
The F/S won 30-23 behind Chloe Slock’s 10 points. They have posted as 9-5 season record.
VIDEO- Final seconds of the game.