KANSAS CITY, MO. (WFIE) - Senior guard Emma DeHart (Indianapolis, Indiana) exploded for 28 points in the final 15 minutes of play as No. 23 University of Southern Indiana Women’s Basketball rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to earn a 96-86 Great Lakes Valley Conference road win over Rockhurst University in overtime Saturday afternoon.
DeHart, who had 11 points in the overtime period, finished the contest with a career-high 39, bettering her previous career-high of 28 points against McKendree University earlier in the year.
Trailing by 13 with just over two minutes to play, senior guard Ashley Hunter (Flossmoor, Illinois) hit back-to-back three-pointers to get the Screaming Eagles to within seven points.
Rockhurst (7-7, 7-7 GLVC), which led 17-10 after the opening period and 29-22 at halftime, got a three-pointer from senior guard Daly Sullivan moments later to go up by 10, but a basket by junior forward Ashlynn Brown (Perrysburg, Ohio) brought the Eagles to within eight points (60-52) heading into the final 10 minutes of regulation.
USI (11-4, 11-4 GLVC), which shot just 18.8 percent (3-16) from the field in the opening period, did not go through the same shooting woes in the fourth quarter as the Eagles made nine of their first 11 shots, including six straight in a three-minute span that saw the Eagles go on a 14-3 run to take a 66-63 lead with six minutes to play.
The Eagles’ offense began to heat up in the second quarter as USI made 9-of-15 shots (.600) in the period and 30-of-48 (.625) from the second quarter on. Rockhurst, however, kept pace with the Eagles nearly step-for-step and, after the Eagle’s 14-3 fourth-quarter rally, that did not change as the Hawks used their long-range attack to stay with USI.
Sophomore forward Lani Thompson hit a pair of three-pointers as Rockhurst went 3-of-5 from behind the arc in a 12-6 run the put the Hawks in front, 75-72, with just over two minutes to play.
DeHart, who was 10-of-15 from the field and 6-of-8 from downtown, hit a pair of free throws and a three-pointer to give USI a brief two-point edge with just over a minute to play. Rockhurst, however, got a three-pointer from freshman guard Keegan Sullivan with 29 seconds to play to give Rockhurst a brief one-point lead.
Keegan Sullivan had 28 points to lead Rockhurst, which had a chance to extend its lead to three-points moments later. Freshman guard Emma Wedergren, however, made just 1-of-2 free throws, allowing the Eagles to tie the contest with five seconds to play with a pair of DeHart free throws.
DeHart blocked Keegan Sullivan’s three-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game into an extra period with the score knotted up at 79-79.After a defensive stop to begin overtime, sophomore forward Hannah Haithcock (Washington Courthouse, Ohio) scored on a layup to give USI a two-point edge and Brown scored moments later to put USI in front, 83-79, just over a minute into overtime.
Rockhurst scored on a pair of free throws in its next possession, but USI answered quickly as DeHart nailed a three-pointer while being fouled in the process. She made the free throw to convert the four-point play and give USI a commanding 86-81 advantage.
USI went 5-of-7 (.714) from the field and 6-of-7 (.857) from the charity stripe in the overtime period, while holding the Hawks to just 12.5 percent (1-8) from the floor.
In addition to DeHart, USI got 15 points from Hunter, who played an instrumental role in keeping the Eagles in the contest in the third period. Haithcock and a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while sophomore guard Soffia Rieckers (Evansville, Indiana) added 11 points and four assists.
Thompson added 18 points for Rockhurst, which began the week with a 75-69 upset win on the road over No. 1 Drury University.
USI returns to action Thursday at 5 p.m. when it travels to Bolivar, Missouri, to take on Southwest Baptist University.
Notes: Saturday’s game marked the first overtime contest for the Eagles since defeating McKendree, 75-73, March 2, 2019…DeHart’s 39 points marked the first time a USI player has gone for 30-or-more points since Morgan Dahlstrom scored 34 in USI’s 64-51 win at the University of Illinois Springfield February 8, 2018…her 39 points also tied Amie Newhart and LeAnn Freeland for third on USI’s all-time single-game scoring list…USI’s 90 points marked the first time since January 18, 2018 that the Eagles have reached the 90-point plateau and are the most for the Eagles since they put up 99 against Missouri S&T February 2, 2017.