Drury University’s last-second game-winning attempt to defeat seventh-seeded Grand Valley State was no good as the fourth-seeded Lady Panthers lost 62-60 in overtime in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional title game on Monday night. The Lady Panthers finished their season 26-5, as Grand Valley State (25-9) moved on to the NCAA-II Elite Eight next week in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Despite scoring the game’s first 10 points, Drury trailed by 12 points at the half (31-19) and fought back to regain the lead in the third period of a game that went back and forth from there. Grand Valley took a 53-49 lead near the end of regulation, but saw Drury tie it up on a pair of jumpers by senior Annie Armstrong, who led all scorers with 25 points, to force overtime.
In the extra period, the Lady Panthers grabbed a quick lead on an Armstrong 3-pointer, but the Lakers would score the next five points to go up 58-56. It was tied at 60 with 13 seconds left after two Armstrong free throws, but the Lakers’ Janae Langs drew a blocking foul call on DU’s Hannah Dressler with her drive to the basket with 4 seconds remaining.
Langs made both free throws, setting the stage for one last DU shot at winning it. But after a timeout, the Lakers swarmed Armstrong, and Drury turned to Roller to try to hit a 17-footer in traffic that bounced away, touching off a GVSU celebration on its first trip to the Elite Eight since 2006.
“It’s gut-wrenching … this is tough,” Drury coach Molly Miller said. “This team will be remembered, but they deserved a lot. I know there are a lot of tears in that locker room because it’s fresh and it stings, but what can’t be forgotten is how special this team is. The effort and the will they brought today was outstanding.
Armstrong, who scored 19 of her 25 points after halftime, finished her career as DU’s No. 11 all-time scorer with 1,179 points in three seasons after the Kickapoo High product transferred in from Eckerd College after her freshman year.
Story: Scott Puryear, Associate AD For Marketing & Communications