CMS Women's Basketball Falls in Double-Overtime Heartbreaker to Chapman

Lindsey Cleary had a clutch tying basket, but Chapman prevailed in 2OT (photo by Kiubon Kokko)
Lindsey Cleary had a clutch tying basket, but Chapman prevailed in 2OT (photo by Kiubon Kokko)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - For the second time in less than a week, senior forward Lindsey Cleary scored a clutch basket in the final seconds of regulation off an inbounds play, tying the score at 66-66 and forcing overtime against Chapman, but the Panthers were able to tie the score themselves at the end of the first overtime and capture an 85-82 double-overtime victory at Roberts Pavilion on Monday night.

With the win, Chapman improves its record to 8-7 overall and 4-2 in the SCIAC, while CMS drops to 9-5 overall and 2-3 in conference play with the loss. 

Cleary made two foul shots to put CMS ahead 64-63 with 1:00 left in regulation, and junior guard Kelly Keene came up with a defensive rebound in traffic, but Chapman was able to force a turnover to get possession back with 13 seconds left. Chapman's Lucy Criswell drew a foul and got to the line, making the first to tie the score, but missing the second. However, the long rebound off the back rim came down in the hands of Chapman's Taylor Hextrum, and Julianna Campas was fouled in the ensuing scramble. Campas made both shots with four seconds left to put the Panthers ahead 66-64, and CMS called a timeout to advance the ball. 

With Chapman pressing out high to try to deny a potential winning three-point attempt, CMS ran a perfect out-of-bounds play, as a back pick at the free throw line freed Cleary under the basket, and Keene was able to throw a lob pass over traffic to find her on the weak side. Cleary then gathered it in with her defender out of the play, and put the layup in tie it at 66-66 with just 2.2 seconds on the clock. On Wednesday, Cleary scored with just 1.1 seconds left off a baseline out-of-bounds play to give CMS an 88-86 win at Cal Lutheran, and her second clutch basket in five days was able to send the Chapman contest into overtime. 

At first the momentum carried over, as junior guard Maezelle Millan started the overtime with a jumper in the paint and added two foul shots to give the Athenas a quick 70-66 lead. After Chapman scored the next three points, Millan found junior forward Kate Parrish under the basket for a layup. Two more Millan foul shots answered a Chapman basket, and Keene had another big defensive rebound before making one of two at the line to give CMS a 75-71 lead with 51 seconds left. 

With the Athenas still leading 75-73, Brittany McPherson was unable to convert down low, but a held ball on the rebound pointed Chapman's way, and the Panthers were able to take the ball out under their basket with eight seconds left. McPherson got the inbounds pass on the left side of the court, and made a circular cut off the dribble through the paint and to the weak side, where she was able to get to the rim for a tying layup with just three seconds left, sending the game to a second extra session. 

First-year guard Jacey Carter had a big three-pointer from the right wing in the second overtime to put CMS ahead 80-79 with 2:47 left, but McPherson went to the rim and was fouled, hitting both to put the Panthers back in front. Carter then fed Cleary on the low block, who made a power move to the basket to put CMS ahead 82-81 with 2:20 to go. McPherson again put Chapman in front with 43 seconds left on a driving layup, and on the next CMS possession, Madison Shigeta came from the weak side to tip away an entry pass to Cleary with 20 seconds left to give Chapman back the ball. Campas hit two pressure foul shots to stretch the lead to 85-82, and CMS had two contested three-point attempts in the final 12 seconds to try to tie it, but were unable to convert, as the Panthers came away with their second double-overtime win at CMS in the last three years (the first was in the 2018 SCIAC Championship game). 

The Athenas came out of the gate on their front foot with aggressive defense and took a 16-11 after the first quarter, which would have been 16-8 except Shigeta hit a 30-footer at the buzzer to pull Chapman within five. CMS built a 10-point lead in the second quarter, which Chapman cut to three late in the half, but junior point guard Katelynn Nguyen ran a great play out of a timeout to get Carter free for a three-pointer from the top of the key, and then beat the buzzer herself with a runner in the paint to give CMS a 33-25 lead at the break. 

Chapman put together a strong third quarter coming out of the locker room, outscoring CMS 25-19, with a Nguyen three-pointer with 12 seconds left giving the Athenas a narrow 52-50 lead heading into the fourth. The Panthers took their largest lead of the night at 61-57 on a Criswell three-pointer, but Parrish converted an old-fashioned three-point play and Cleary knocked down two foul shots to give CMS back the lead in the final minute. 

CMS had a strong game from its frontcourt, as Parrish had a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds (10 offensive) and Cleary ended with a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds, helping the Athenas to a 58-44 rebounding advantage. Millan was also in double figures with 12 points off the bench, to go along with six rebounds and four assists. McPherson finished with 12 points for Chapman, with nine of them coming in overtime, while Criswell had 19 points, five blocks and five steals and Hextrum had 17 points and eight rebounds. 

CMS will be back in action on Wednesday to take on Redlands (5-0 in SCIAC) in another big league contest at Roberts Pavilion, tipping off at 7 p.m.