LUBBOCK, Texas – Deborah Ogayemi hit a put-back off a missed 3-pointer with 8.9 seconds left, then added the game-clinching free throw off a rebound, and Tyler Junior College outlasted Chipola College 67-65 in overtime in the opening round of the NJCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship at the Rip Griffin Center.
Ogayemi and Taryn Wills had 13 points apiece to lead the Apaches, who watched a double-digit lead in the first half evaporate under the defensive pressure of the Indians before regaining their composure just in time to send it to overtime.
“It was more of us staying focused, and we told them that they’re going to make runs, we’re going to miss shots, things are going to happen, so we prepare for things to happen and not let it get us down,” Tyler head coach Trenia Tillis Hoard said. “For a quarter we had our shoulders slumped and we weren’t playing TJC basketball. But we hit some big shots, and we knew we just had to rebound.”
Tyler (24-8) advances to Thursday’s second around where it will face top seed Three Rivers (28-0) at 2 p.m. while Chipola ends its season at 23-9.
Down one with under a minute left, Tyler went to Jasmine Payne, who drained a huge 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. She missed the shot from the right wing, but Ogayemi was there to collect her 18th rebound of the game, getting the putback and foul to put the Apaches back up 66-65.
She then came up with 19th and final rebound when Jordan McLaughlin drove the lane but missed her layup with 1.2 seconds to play. Ogayemi hit one of two free throws to ice the game and send the Apaches to the next round.
“We knew (McLaughlin) was going to drive and we knew we had to crash the boards for us to get the ball back in our hands,” Ogayemi said. “No matter what we had to box out and grab the ball as quick as we can, and that’s what we did.”
In fact, that’s what Tyler did for most of the game, outrebounding Chipola 61-40, including a 29-11 edge on the offensive boards that led to a 24-7 advantage in second-chance points, none bigger than Ogayemi’s putback at the end.
Nassarine William added 12 points for Tyler while Shadiya Thomas chipped in 10.
McLaughlin led the Indians with a game-high 27 points, 15 of which came in the second half and overtime as she spearheaded Chipola’s rally. The Indians trailed by as much as 11 in the first half but used a 6-1 run to close the second quarter and pull to within 32-26 at the intermission, and a McLaughlin layup with 4:09 left in the third closed a game-tying 13-2 run for Chipola.
McLaughlin had four points in an 8-0 rally that gave Chipola its biggest lead of the game at 59-53 with 2:36 to play in overtime. But Thomas hit a 3-pointer with 1:31 left in regulation, then Payne hit her game-tying shot from the right wing coming out of a timeout and off a screen to send the game to overtime.
“I just trust the process,” Payne said. “Coach (Hoard) drew the play up, and when we ran it the first time, we didn’t execute it. We went back to the same thing, and we got a good shot, good look. I just give it to my teammates and the coaches. They set good screens and we got a good look at it.”
Shcira Fowles added 10 points for Chipola before fouling out early in the overtime period.