JACKSONVILLE, Texas — After trailing by 14 points with five minutes to play in regulation, the Northeastern A&M Lady Norse received an NBA-type 3-pointer from Brittany Woodard with 15 seconds left on the clock before earning a 78-74 overtime victory over Panola College Saturday in the last round of the Jacksonville Invitational Holiday Classic at the Curtis Carroll Fieldhouse.
Coach Jim Rowland's Lady Norse carry a 6-6 season record into the Jayhawk Shoot-Out Friday and Saturday on the campus of Coffeyville (Kan.) Community Col-lege.
The Lady Norse face Allen County (Kan.) Community College (6-6) at 9 a.m. Friday in the east gym of Nellis Hall. The Lady Norse square off against 24th-ranked Independence (Kan.) Community College at 9 p.m. Saturday. The Lady Pirates are 9-2.
Against Panola College of Carthage, Texas, the Fillies jumped out to a 28-17 cushion midway through the first half on two 3-pointers by Candace Virgadamo and one try each by Ariel Billington, Tatsiana Zhurauliova and Sharilyn Reed.
Virgadamo scored 12 of her game-high 22 points in the first half as the Fillies carried a 37-33 lead to the locker room.
Sophomore center Jelina Cerina scored 10 of her 20 points in the first half to help rally the Lady Norse to a four-point deficit at halftime.
During the second half, the Fillies received eight points by Virgadamo and seven from Reed to pull away to a 61-47 margin with five minutes left in the game.
Veteran point guard Kashei Hopkins fueled the Lady Norse rally with two 3-pointers and two layups along with eight points by Cerina and six by freshman Roni Jefferson before Woodard sank her dramatic 3-pointer to create a 69-69 tie at the end of regulation play.
Hopkins canned a 3-pointer, along with regular field goals by Cerina, Jefferson and Andrea Marinho, as the Lady Norse outscored the Fillies by a 9-5 margin in the extra five-minute period.
Along with the 20 points from Cerina, NEO received 13 points from both Hopkins and Ashton Pittman.