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Swish for Fisch'... Women win in OT

Photo by Haley Staffon
Photo by Haley Staffon

Senior forward Lauren Fischer sank a 3-pointer from the corner with :01 to play in regulation to tie the game and added two clutch free throws with 22 seconds to go in overtime as No. 10-ranked St. Thomas pulled out a 70-66 win over Augsburg in MIAC women's basketball play Wednesday night at Schoenecker Arena.

In pulling off its biggest comeback victory of the last decade, St. Thomas (20-2 overall, 15-0 MIAC) ran its season win streak to 13, secured a playoff top-two seed and first-round bye, and clinched the program's ninth consecutive 20-win season.

The Tommies' 48-game conference win streak and a 22-game victory string over Augsburg looked to be over as the Auggies used a 6-0 run to lead 62-58 with :08 left in regulation.

UST's Hannah Spaulding made one of two free throws with :07 left to cut the lead to three. After a foul on Spaulding, her fifth, Augsburg had two chances to ice the game but missed both free throws to keep the score at 62-59.

After a time out and an Auggie foul, the clock was under five seconds as Fischer got a wide open look from the corner and drained the shot for a 62-62 deadlock with one second to go. Fischer was 1-for-8 in shooting before that clutch basket. An Augsburg desperation heave didn't fall, and the Tommies were in their first overtime game since the March 2016 postseason, when UST rallied from nine points down in the final 2:46 against Loras and won in overtime. 

The Auggies (11-10, 7-8) scored two free throws to start overtime with a 64-62 lead, but later went scoreless over the final 3:00. Leading scorer Camryn Speese fouled out with 1:53 left in overtime after a 19-point, eight-rebound night. Tamira McLemore had 13 points and five steals.

Spaulding played 37 of 40 minutes in regulation before fouling out with :07 left. She finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Lucia Renikoff scored 15 points, and Maddie Wolkow had 11 points and four assists, including a clutch trey with 2:47 to play in overtime that erased the last Augsburg lead. Fischer had eight points and 10 boards, and her two free throws with 22 seconds to go pushed the Tommie lead to 70-66.

The final stats sheet was as even as the score. Both teams had 37 boards, and UST's 16 turnovers were one less than the Auggies' total. UST shot 44 percent from the floor and sank two more 3-pointers, but made four less free throws.

St. Thomas plays Saturday at St. Olaf and next Wednesday at St. Mary's.