GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Yolizma Cupidan scored all of Tusculum's 10 points in overtime as the Pioneers outlasted Catawba 72-64 Saturday afternoon at Pioneer Arena in South Atlantic Conference women's basketball action.
Cupidan went 3-for-3 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, and connected on a pair of foul shots in the extra period as the Pioneers (13-5, 6-5 SAC) snapped a five-game losing streak to the Indians (10-8, 5-6 SAC). Cupidan's outburst came after she missed all seven of her field-goal attempts and went 1-for-4 from the foul line in 37 minutes of playing time in regulation.
Mia Long tied her season high with a game-high 23 points and Kendrea Duke added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Pioneers, who shot 37 percent (20-for-54) from the field but hit 24 of 38 attempts from the foul line against the Indians, who were 10-for-15 from the stripe as a team.
Taisha DeShazo scored all of her team-high 15 points in the second half for Catawba, which trailed by 13 points in the first quarter before taking a one-point lead at halftime. The second half featured 12 lead changes and eight ties, the last coming on a free throw by Long with 25.3 seconds left in regulation which tied the game at 62-62.
In overtime, Cupidan hit a three-pointer on the Pioneers' first possession to give Tusculum a 65-62 lead. After a basket by the Indians' Mercedes Wampler cut the margin to 65-64, Cupidan hit another three with 1:27 left to extend the Tusculum lead to 68-64. Cupidan then converted a three-point play with 37.8 seconds remaining to give the Pioneers a 71-64 lead, and sank a free throw with 6.5 seconds left to set the final score. Catawba was 1-for-5 from the field and missed all three of its three-point attempts in overtime.
Long was 8-for-13 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, and added four assists, four steals and a career-high three blocked shots. Duke's double-double, her second of the season, including six offensive rebounds and a 10-for-12 effort at the free-throw line. Callie Patterson added 14 points as Tusculum placed four players in double figures in the victory.
Shemya Stanbeck went 5-for-6 from the field and scored 12 points to go along with six rebounds before she fouled out late in the fourth quarter. Wampler also reached double figures for Catawba with 10 points in 32 minutes off the bench. The Indians' bench outscored the Pioneers by a 30-7 margin.
Catawba scored the first two points of the game on a pair of free throws by Talia Barnes with 8:58 left in the opening quarter, but Patterson would run off 10 points as part of a 15-0 run by Tusculum which left the Pioneers with a 15-2 lead with 4:26 left in the first quarter. Catawba missed its first seven shots from the field before a three-pointer by Anna Gardner with 3:20 left in the quarter triggered a 13-4 surge that allowed the Indians to pull within 20-17 after one quarter.
Tusculum built its lead back to 25-17 following a layup by Patterson with 6:48 left in the second quarter, but three-pointers by Madison Hallman and Emily Phillips were part of an 11-0 run which gave Catawba the lead at 28-25 with 1:49 left in the half. Tusculum shot just 4-for-18 from the field in the second quarter, but were able to climb back within 31-30 on a three-pointer by Marta Rodrigues in the final minute of the half.
Patterson led all players with 12 points in the first half as Tusculum shot 29 percent (9-for-31) from the field and went 9-for-17 at the foul line. Long added nine points and Duke had four points and five rebounds in the half for the Pioneers. For Catawba, Stanbeck had seven points and five rebounds off the bench and Elizabeth Webb hit two three-pointers for six points as the Indians were 10-for-28 (35.7 percent) from the field and 5-for-13 from three-point range in the half.
Duke and Long took over for the Pioneers in the third quarter, combining for 19 of their 22 points in the period. Duke went 7-for-8 from the foul line and Long was 3-for-3 from the field in a quarter that had six ties and 11 lead changes, with Catawba's largest lead at 38-34 following a DeShazo three-pointer with 7:02 left in the period. Tusculum finished the quarter on an 8-2 run, with Long scoring the final six points on a three-point play with 57 seconds left and a three-pointer just before the buzzer which gave Tusculum a 52-47 lead.
Another three-pointer by Long gave the Pioneers a 55-47 advantage with 8:50 to go, but Wampler capped an 8-1 run with a layup to tie the game at 56-56 with 4:27 left. Jasmine Williams hit a three-pointer with 3:48 left and Long sank a layup with 2:22 remaining to push the Pioneers back on top 61-56, but a three-pointer by DeShazo cut the deficit to two with 1:59 left.
After a Pioneer turnover, Hallman drilled a three-pointer with 47.8 seconds left to give Catawba the lead at 62-61. Long hit one of two free throws to tie the game with 25.3 seconds to go, and Tusculum got the ball back on a turnover with 21.6 seconds left. The Pioneers ran the clock down, and Cupidan's layup attempt just before the buzzer was no good and Tusculum was off to overtime for the first time since January 25, 2017 against Brevard.
Williams played 15 minutes off the bench for the Pioneers and had four points, five rebounds and three blocked shots. As a team, Tusculum had 11 blocked shots in the game which tied its season high set January 16 against Carson-Newman. The Pioneers also had the advantage in rebounding over Catawba by a 41-36 margin, including 19 offensive rebounds which were turned into 14 points.
Catawba held the edge in fast-break points by a 14-2 margin, and had 23 points off 19 Tusculum turnovers while the Pioneers managed 18 points off 21 Catawba miscues, which included three shot-clock violations.
Anna Gardner finished with five points, six rebounds and four steals for the Indians, while Hallman had six points and four assists before fouling out in overtime. Catawba was called for 28 fouls in the game to 14 for Tusculum, and had three players - Stanbeck, Hallman and Keyotta Garris - foul out of the contest.
Tusculum will remain home to face SAC-leading Anderson on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Pioneer Arena. The Trojans are ranked 11th in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 poll and will come to Greeneville with a 17-2 overall record and a 15-game winning streak. Anderson beat Tusculum in their first meeting by a 67-54 score on Nov. 28.