ODU gets lucky in overtime vs. Purdue No. 2 seed wins, 69-65, after layup spins out at : 05

March 17, 1997|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

NORFOLK, Va. -- Sometimes, it truly is better to be lucky than good, and that is why the Old Dominion women's basketball team will advance to next weekend's Mideast Regional semifinals.

The No. 2 Lady Monarchs were pushed to the limit yesterday by a scrappy Purdue team that nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the NCAA women's tournament, but a potential winning layup with five seconds to go in overtime spun halfway down the basket and out.

Instead, Old Dominion, the top seed in the region, held on for a 69-65 nationally televised win.

"We are pleased to have Lady Luck on our side," said Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry.

No one was happier to see Purdue guard Stephanie White's layup spin out of the basket than Old Dominion's Mery Andrade, who missed a wide-open layup at the end of regulation, then threw away a pass with 11.8 seconds to go in overtime, giving Purdue a chance to win.

"I was standing under the basket, praying, 'Please don't go in, please don't go in,' " said Andrade.

Andrade, a 6-foot-1 junior from Lisbon, Portugal, was nearly inconsolable after the horn sounded in regulation, so much so that her Portuguese teammate, Ticha Penicheiro, had to drag her back to the huddle, and Larry didn't send her out for the opening tip.

"It was critical of Mery to regain her focus," said Larry. "That [her failing to start overtime] was my extra couple of seconds to make sure things were all right. I have to look in somebody's eyes and see that they aren't 'deer in a headlight' eyes. That was her emotion and her wanting to win the game."

Said Andrade: "I was blaming myself for missing the layup because nobody touched me. All my teammates kept getting on me and saying it's OK. I kept telling my teammates on the bench in the second half, 'Refuse to lose,' and I refuse to lose, then everybody had to refuse to lose. I was trying to make up for my mistake."

In fact, Andrade banked in a three-pointer on the first possession of the overtime, then got a put-back to give the Lady Monarchs (31-1) a three-point lead.

But the eighth-seeded Boilermakers (17-11), who dispatched Maryland on Friday night, stayed with Old Dominion despite the raucous standing-room-only crowd of 4,855 at the ODU Field House.

Forced into a half-court game, the Lady Monarchs, who have won 30 straight, found forward Clarisse Machanguana, who had a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds.

After Andrade's turnover in overtime, White took the inbounds pass and went coast to coast, and into the lane, where she laid a finger roll just over the front rim. The ball spun halfway down the basket then came back out.

"I was trying to get to the basket and either score or get the foul," said White. "It looked good to me, but my dad always told me to use the backboard when you go down the middle. I didn't and it didn't fall."

Penicheiro grabbed the rebound and was fouled. She missed the free throw, but got the loose ball and sank a three-pointer at the buzzer, sending ODU to the regionals, at Purdue's Mackey Arena.

PURDUE -- Yasen 6-13 0-0 12, Curless 3-4 2-2 8, Roland 6-10 1-2 14, Figgs 4-10 2-2 11, White 6-15 6-6 18, Young 0-0 0-0 0, Duhart 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 25-52 13-14 65.

OLD DOMINION -- Andrade 3-12 0-0 8, Machanguana 9-14 5-6 23, Roberts 5-7 3-7 13, Himes 1-2 0-1 2, Penicheiro 4-11 4-6 14, Eller 0-2 0-0 0, Eblin 3-10 0-0 9, Small 0-1 0-0 0, Diaz 0-2 0-1 0. Totals 25-61 12-21 69.

-- Halftime--Purdue 28, Old Dominion 27. End of regulation--Old Dominion 61, Purdue 61. 3-point goals--Purdue 2-12 (Roland 1-3, Figgs 1-5, White 0-4), Old Dominion 7-22 (Eblin 3-9, Penicheiro 2-4, Andrade 2-5, Himes 0-1, Eller 0-2, Diaz 0-1). Fouled out--Roland. Rebounds--Purdue 32 (Curless 10), Old Dominion 38 (Machanguana 11). Assists--Purdue 7 (Figgs 5), Old Dominion 17 (Himes, Penicheiro 6). Total fouls--Purdue 20, Old Dominion 16. A--4,855.

Pub Date: 3/17/97

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