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Women’s Basketball: NU loses marathon five-overtime match-up to Drexel

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It was the game that kept going and going.

And going.

The Huskies set a new NCAA women’s basketball record for the longest game played when they lost to Drexel (8-20, 3-14 CAA), 98-90, in five overtimes in Philadelphia Thursday night.

Junior guard Shaleyse Smallwood set an NCAA women’s record by playing 63 of the game’s 65 minutes, erasing the previous record of 60.

The first half gave little insight as to what was to come, as the Dragons led by as much as 16 and went into halftime up 33-20. NU shot only 5-23 (21.7 percent) in the first half, while Drexel posted a sizzling 14-25 (56 percent) mark from the field.

“We didn’t come ready to play,” said head coach Daynia La-Force Mann. “They jumped out on us. [We had] to regroup at halftime.”

And they did. After letting the Dragons gain a 15-point lead on a layup by junior guard Narissa Suber at the 18:44 mark, NU stormed back, cutting the lead to single digits with 12:28 left on a layup by junior guard Lucia Pablos.

With 3:50 remaining, the Huskies took their first lead of the game on a three-point play by Smallwood, who finished with a career-high 37 points and pulled down nine boards, despite missing the previous two practices with the flu. With 24 points in Sunday’s 76-51 loss at Hofstra, Smallwood split CAA player of the week honors with Drexel freshman forward Gabriela Marginean, who set a school record with 47 points and a personal record with 22 rebounds in the marathon.

The closing minutes of regulation saw four ties and three lead changes as each team tried to pull away.

Freshman forward Kendra Walton hit 1-2 free-throws to give NU a one-point lead with 37 seconds left.

But Marginean matched Walton at the free-throw line to send the game into overtime knotted at 55.

Northeastern trailed by two with 53 seconds left in the first overtime. Drexel failed to convert on its offensive possession and sophomore guard Ashlee Feldman grabbed the rebound as NU pushed down the floor.

Walton found Smallwood for the tie and Drexel couldn’t convert on the following possession, sending the game into a second overtime.

Smallwood did her best “Groundhog Day” impression, scoring to force three of the five overtimes and single-handedly tying the game on seven different occasions throughout the second half and five overtimes.

“We were just trying to come out with a win,” Smallwood said. “[We] just really wanted to win, [and] stay focused, [but] we lost it in the fifth overtime.”

The Huskies would take their last lead of the game with 49 seconds left in the second overtime. Walton hit a jumper to give NU the lead, but Marginean answered right back with another basket.

The teams scored eight points apiece in the third overtime as Smallwood hit a jumper with 10 seconds left to keep the Huskies alive.

NU found itself trailing by five with 1:10 left in the fourth overtime. Smallwood once again took control, scoring the last five points of the period to give the Huskies a pulse again. The close of the fourth overtime also saw Marginean foul out, giving the Huskies an opportunity that they failed to capitalize on.

“They had their best player foul out [and I] thought we had a chance,” La-Force Mann said. “But other people stepped up.

The student newspaper of Northeastern University
Women’s Basketball: NU loses marathon five-overtime match-up to Drexel