The Lady Seasiders blew a ten-point lead in the final minute of the game, eventually losing in overtime to the visiting Hilo Vulcans 79-72 on Jan. 14 in the Canon Activities Center.
“Tough” was how Seasider forward Jessica Horrocks, a senior from Idaho majoring in exercise science, summed up the team’s feelings about the loss.
She said she felt overall the team came together and played efficiently on offense and defense, but “during the last minutes of the game there were some plays that shifted momentum and it was hard to put it in our favor.”
The Seasiders appeared to have all but put the game away with hot shooting from guards Marian and Safia Sheikh scoring a combined 34 points. Center Kristin Baldwin also put pressure on the Vulcans’ defense shooting a game high of 11 shots from the charity stripe.
But the Vulcans did not go away. With a minute left, they started a full court press catching the Seasiders off guard leaving them baffled on offense. The pressure caused four Seasider turnovers in the last two minutes resulting in a 10 to 1 Hilo run to force the overtime.
Even though the Seasiders were able to move the ball down the court during the overtime, the team appeared to be shocked by the Vulcans’ improbable comeback. Part of the game’s change came from an increase in fouls.
“It was frustrating to see all the fouling at the end,” said Eve Gonzalez, a freshman from Texas majoring in business. “I think it was a bad strategy for us to keep sending them to the free-throw line.”
The fans who had been cheering on the Seasiders appeared to be just as shocked and disappointed as the players at the final outcome, especially as the team’s lead decreased to a tie during regulation.
“It seemed instead of trying to do something offensively they were just trying to maintain a lead,” said Kurt Delfin, a sophomore from Guam majoring in political science. Analyzing the reason for the loss, Delfin remarked, “I’ve been debating if it was the players or the coaches. It came down to play calling and some of the decisions the players made. So, I think it was a little of both.”
While the fans showed disappointment, it was the players who seemed the most concerned with their performance as they quietly and quickly exited the gym after the final buzzer.
Horrocks explained, “We take losses like this seriously. We don’t hang our heads, but we make sure to learn from these types of experiences.”
The Lady Seasiders next home game is Jan. 21 at 5 p.m. at the CAC.