Matt Packwood, BU Athletics Sports Information
BRANDON, MB – The Brandon Bobcats picked up a dramatic win in their 2016-17 home opener over the visiting UBC Okanagan Heat. Keisha Cox's last second lay-up in overtime sealed the deal for Brandon by a final of 80-78.
Cox collected 35 points, but the Bobcats had to work hard in the second half to force the extra frame.
The Bobcats struggled out of the gate, despite executing the press well on defense. The Heat were able to move the ball and capitalize on the offensive end, shooting 60 per cent of their shots from the floor in the first half.
The second half started much the same, but the Bobcats were able to slowly chip away, winning the glass battle to secure more possessions. Brandon out-rebounded the Heat 44-35, which ultimately led to Brandon forcing overtime. Cox hit a pair of free-throws with 15 seconds left in the fourth, before Mikaela Stanton's baseline three was blocked, forcing overtime.
In the extra frame, the Heat started much the same way they started the game, extending their lead to four points at 75-71, but the Bobcats battled back yet again.
Stanton hit a pair of free-throws to give the Bobcats their first lead at 77-76 before Nicole Hart hit a clutch jumper for the Heat with just four seconds left.
With the Heat leading 78-77, Brandon raced the ball up court, with Cox finishing a contested lay-up that made it 79-78 as time expired. Cox was fouled on the play, so she went to the line and hit the free-throw attempt to make it an 80-78 final.
Cox led all scorers with 35 points to go with 13 rebounds. Stanton contributed 14 points, while Lauren Anderson finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Claire Elliot led the charge for the Heat, putting up 17 points in 41 minutes of action. Hart had 16 points and two blocks, while Emma Jonas finished with 11 points.
The win improves Brandon's record to 1-2, while the Heat sport the same record of 1-2.
The two teams will meet again in Brandon on Saturday to conclude the weekend series.