Going in to Tuesday night’s playoff game, both Auburn and Notre Dame had the same record, 13-7, but the Rockets were seeded one spot higher at #8. One of the Rebels’ wins was from January 11th when they rallied in the second half to overcome a 12-point deficit and beat Auburn 36-34.
During Tuesday’s First Round game of the MIAA Central D2 Tournament, both teams were playing evenly and cleanly in the first half which ended with the Rebels up 16-14 and a total of six fouls between the teams.
Notre Dame came out strong in the second half and, with less that 3 minutes left in the third, climbed to an 11-point lead. That quarter ended with the visitors ahead 31-22. Late in the fourth, 3-pointers by Shannon Sampson and Colleen Cutting had the Rockets within one point, and a free throw by Cutting tied the game, 39-39. Auburn took a lead at 38.7 seconds on 2 more free throws by Cutting, but a last second basket by the Rebels tied it up 41-41.
Halfway through the 4-minute overtime, both teams were in the double bonus, and this hurt both teams. Notre Dame also made the first points, and Auburn was never able to catch up. The final, 51-48, reflects that.
Auburn was in the bonus first and the double bonus first, and it’s unfortunate they didn’t exploit this by driving to the net hard. By the end of the game, two Rebels had fouled out, and this could have been hastened by aggressive play. In the fourth, Cutting had 2 baskets and 3 free throws, and all of her OT points were from the line.
Cutting had 18 points and Sampson followed with 14. Kileigh Hynes earned 7 points while Liz Anusauskas had 4. Semran Sahota had 3, and Alexis McGrail had 2.
Coach Nicole LePrevost described this season as “Up and down. Wins and losses, but this team never gave up. A testament to out seniors.” She concluded, “We’ll miss the seniors a lot. They’re a great bunch of kids in the classroom and on the court.”