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Buzzer-Beater Can’t Beat Buzzer

EUGENE, Ore.  - A made layup by NCU freshman Katie Collins came half a second after time expired on Tuesday evening as the Beacons fell to Evergreen State, 60-59 in Cascade Collegiate Conference action.

Northwest Christian (7-5, 1-2 CCC) held a two-point lead at halftime, 32-30, but the Geoducks scored the first five points of the second half, charging out to a 35-32 lead. The ESC advantage grew to as many as nine points at the six-minute mark, but NCU climbed back into the game.

Trailing 53-44, the Beacons went on an 11-2 run, including five free-throws from junior Lori Renner and a trey from freshman Aly Bruns, and tied the game at 55-55 with 2:30 remaining. NCU then took back the lead, 58-57 on a Calie McVicker layup with just over a minute to play, but Evergreen's Chelsey Nill hit a three-pointer to give back a two-point lead to the Geoducks.

Renner was fouled once again on NCU next possession, but could only connect on one of two free-throws, making it a 60-59 game. After a missed three-point attempt by ESC, the Beacons rebounded the ball and called time out with under 3 seconds to play. After some gamesmanship led to back-to-back timeouts by Evergreen coach Monica Heuer, getting a look at NCU's set up for their final play, the ball was inbounded at the top of the key to a wide-open Collins. Collins found a lane to the basket and moved in for the layup, but couldn't get the ball out of her hands before the buzzer sounded.

NCU was led by Renner, who finished with 17 points, including a 9-for-11 effort at the charity stripe. The junior also led the team with six rebounds and three assists. McVicker made the most of her second straight start, scoring 15 points, hitting a pair of three-pointers and leading all players with four steals.

Evergreen State (5-10, 1-3 CCC) picks up their first conference win of the season behind a 17-point performance from Tana Palmason off the bench. The Geoduck reserves had a strong night together, out-scoring the NCU bench, 30-11. ESC was fortunate to not have the game decided for them at the charity stripe as they shot just 33% at the free-throw line in the game (7-for-21).

Evergreen State will be back in action next Wednesday as they travel to Kirkland to take on Northwest University at 5:30 pm.

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