Carolina women's basketball team staged a momentous comeback to stay
alive in regulation, then took care of business in overtime to defeat
Drexel 78-76 in a Women's National Invitation Tournament first round
game Friday night in Philadelphia.
The Lady Pirates
(23-10) made up an 18-point deficit in the final 6:23 to force the extra period.
Sophomore center Jean Best sank a pair of three throws with five seconds
left to punctuate the revival, knotting the score at 66-66.
junior guard Allison Spivey's tip-in with two ticks remaining in
overtime sealed the remarkable victory.
Ashley Clarke score 16 points, all after halftime, Best had 15,
sophomore forward Chareya Smith added 14 and junior forward Kim Gay
recorded 12 for the Lady Pirates.
Gabriela Marginean exploded for a game-high 35 points, junior guard
Jasmina Rosseel scored 17 and sophomore guard Kamile Nacickaite
contributed 10 for Drexel.
out as the Lady Dragons' all-time leading scorer with 2,581 points.
led at the half 27-26 and outscored East Carolina 32-15 over the first
13:32 of the second half before the teams' fortunes reversed. Best ignited the
Lady Pirates' resurgence with two quick layups.
As the clock
wound down in overtime, back-to-back
baskets by Clarke gave East Carolina a five-point edge with 36 seconds
But the Lady
Dragons quickly struck back with a trey by Rosseel and a jumper by Marginean to
pull even with 11 seconds left, setting the dramatic stage for
Spivey's game-winning basket nine seconds later.
In its first-ever
foray past the first round of a postseason tournament, East Carolina
advances to challenge Maryland on Sunday in College Park.