By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Cincinnati, OH---Emma-Jean Ricketts had a huge game, but the Express couldn't execute at the foul line - including two misses from Ricketts late in regulation - in an 82-75 overtime loss to Cincinnati State.
In regulation, both Karahn Scott and Jordyn Bond fouled out and the Express trailed Cincinnati State 58-49 with 5:11 left. Then, with 2:09 left, Cincinnati State's Kindsay Brandt hit a jumper that put the Surge up 62-57.
The Express, however, got the second of back-to-back 3-pointers from Breonna House to pull the game within two. After a missed 3-pointer from Brandi Henschen, the Express pulled down the defensive rebound. Ricketts would make 2-for-2 from the foul line to tie the game with 1:17 remaining.
Brandt then drained a 3-pointer to give the Surge a three point lead, but Mackenzie Heacock answered back with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 65-all with 28 seconds remaining.
Bailee Adams then stole a loose ball from Brandt and made an outlet pass to Ricketts, who was fouled on a lay-up attempt. She missed both free throws, however, and Cincinnati State couldn't score on the ensuing possession and the game went to overtime.
In overtime, the Surge came out on fire as they scored the first 11 points of the session to take a 76-65 lead with 2:58 remaining. The Express then fought back once again and cut the lead to 78-75 with 32 seconds left. Cincinnati State, however, made 4-for-6 from the foul line down the stretch to get the win.
The Express lost the game at the foul line and on the glass as they finished just 19-for-35 overall from the line. Ricketts, alone, made just 8-for-17 from the line.
Ricketts, though, was the primary reason the Express were able to come back late. The sophomore posted a career-high 18 rebounds to go with 19 points, four assists and three steals. She finished 5-for-17 from the field and 1-for-5 from the 3-point line.
Heacock tied for the team lead in scoring with 19 points, while adding three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
House, who had multiple clutch 3-pointers late in regulation, finished with 13 points off the bench. Despite fouling out late, Scott finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and one steal.
Brandt led the Surge with 21 points, nine rebounds, six assists and five steals despite turning the ball over seven times - including the possession that could have led to Ricketts winning the game at the foul line.
Cameron Vaughn, who is one of the nation's top rebounders, was held to only one rebound in the first half, but finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds and one block. Desiree Ash added 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks for the Surge.
As a team, the Express were outrebounded 60-51 overall and 21-14 on the offensive glass. They shot 26-for-73 overall from the field and 4-for-19 from 3-point range. Meanwhile, the Surge finished 28-for-82 from the field overall, 6-for-17 from 3-point range and 20-for-29 from the foul line.
The Surge outscored the Express 23-14 in bench points and 18-14 in second chance points, while the Express won the battle in the paint 44-30 despite being outrebounded.
Adams, who had the late steal in regulation, tied Ricketts and Danielle Bezeau for the team-high in that category. Bezeau also added four points, four rebounds and four assists.
It was the third consecutive overtime game between the two teams dating back to last season. Cincinnati State is 3-0 in those games.
Ricketts nearly had a double-double in the first half alone as she finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, while Heacock had nine points in 10 minutes of action.
Also in the first half, the Express were hurt by a couple missed open lay-ups, as well as 11 turnovers. Scott picked up three fouls and was limited to only eight minutes of action. During that time, she had four points and three rebounds.
Bond fouled out with 6:04 remaining. She had nine points and nine rebounds at the time.
The Express are now 14-6 overall and 2-1 in the OCCAC, while Cincinnati State improves to 17-3 overall and 3-0 in the OCCAC.