MILWAUKEE – Senior Holly Denfeld scored a game-high 23 points to lead the MSOE women's basketball team to a thrilling 61-56 victory over Alverno in overtime Saturday evening at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (2-2, 1-2 NACC) overcame a six-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Inferno (1-4, 1-1 NACC) in each of the final two quarters and overtime.
Denfeld shot 11-for-14 on the night, making nine-straight shots at one point and grabbed nine rebounds. Senior Margaret Pugh scored 10 points, including four in the overtime period, to go with three steals.
Sophomore Jamie Spanbauer filled the stat line with nine points, nine rebounds and eight assists against just one turnover off the bench.
Gabby Hood scored 19 points to lead Alverno, while Donna Zehner finished with 17.
MSOE struck quickly in overtime, with Spanbauer hitting a three-pointer on the opening possession, then finding Pugh for a quick basket on the team's next. The Inferno pulled with a point on two occasions, but the Red & White responded each time. After AC made it 57-56 inside the final minute, senior Lizzy Hilby and Spanbauer combined to go 4-for-4 at the free throw line to ice the game.
The teams were tied at 10-10 after the first quarter and later at 19-19 in the second when the Inferno started to pull away. The visitors scored the last six points of the first half and hit the first basket of the second to open a game-high eight-point lead at 27-19.
The Raiders then spent the rest of the quarter playing catch up, pulling within one on a three-pointer by Hilby and then again on a Spanbauer basket to make it 37-36 with 32 seconds to go in the period. A Pugh layup to open fourth-quarter scoring gave MSOE its first lead since the opening quarter.
There would be four lead changes in that final quarter, the last of the game came after AC had gone up 43-40, but Denfeld responded with an old-fashioned three-point play, Pugh came away with a steal and Hilby buried another three to make it 46-43.
The teams traded scoring possessions down the stretch and Hood's layup with 1:00 to go tied the game at 50-50 and essentially forced overtime as sophomore Brooke Scott's three-pointer just before the buzzer was off the mark.
MSOE took some time to get going on offense, but finished the night shooting 38.3 percent after an even 50 percent in the second half. It also hit on 11-of-15 from the free throw line. The Raiders held a 41-39 rebounding advantage and had 19 assists against 18 turnovers. Alverno shot 38.7 percent for the game and also turned the ball over 18 times.
The Raiders return to the court at Edgewood Wednesday.