LIBERAL, Kan. – The No. 11 Seward County women's basketball team survived another tough challenge on Saturday night, needing overtime to defeat the Barton Cougars 106-96. The win pushed the Seward home win streak to 45 games as the Lady Saints now sit at 19-2 overall and 11-1 in the KJCCC.
It appeared to be going in Seward's favor as the Lady Saints jumped out to a 7-0 run to begin the game. The Cougars wouldn't be deterred however, climbing back into the game, eventually taking a 15-14 lead with a Taylor Regan jump shot. Silvia Veloso connected on a three as the quarter winded down to give Seward a 20-19 lead after the first.
Another quick start to the quarter pushed the Seward lead to 11 points as the Cougars were held to just three points in the first four minutes of the second quarter. The Cougars would once again cut into the lead, this time cutting it to four points before the Lady Saints ended the quarter with back-to-back baskets to take an eight-point lead into halftime, 44-36.
The two teams traded blows with each other for much of the third quarter, Karolina Szydlowska and Lexi Hernandez found their mark from behind the arc to push the lead back to double-digits. As it had been throughout the night though, the Cougars wouldn't give in, making it just a six-point lead after three, 63-57.
Offense was the focal point in the fourth quarter, with neither defense being able to stop the opposing offense. With three and a half minutes to play, the Cougars tied the game with a three pointer from Jaylin Stapleton. On the next possession, Barton took a two-point lead before Carla Covane could answer to tie at 76. After the Cougars took another two-point lead with another Stapleton three-pointer, the final thirty seconds consisted of who could make the most free throws.
Trailing 83-82 with 26 seconds left in the game, Covane went to the free throw line for a chance to give Seward the lead. She would miss both, but Hernandez would fight through the taller players to come away with the rebound and find Covane for a layup to give Seward the lead again. Stapleton would get fould on the ensuing possession and make both free throws to give Barton another lead. With four seconds remaining, Covane was sent to the line again, making one-of-two from the charity stripe to for overtime with the game tied at 85.
Once overtime hit, it was all Seward County, starting on a 15-4 run to take a commanding 100-89 lead over the Cougars. The Lady Saints connected on the free throws down the stretch to hold onto the lead and win 106-96.
Seward shot 51.5 percent (34-for-66) from the floor and 54.2 percent (13-for-24) from deep. The Cougars were just as good, connecting on 43.6 percent (34-for-78) of their shots and 50 percent (10-for-20) from deep.
Five Lady Saints scored in double-figures, including four reaching the twenty-point mark. Carla Covane finished with a career-high 23 points, while also racking up 14 rebounds as she picked up her fifth double-double of the season. Aquila Mucubaquire finished with a career-high 21 points, with 18 coming in the first half. Lexi Hernandez led the Lady Saints with 25 points, while Silvia Veloso came away with 21. Karolina Szydlowska ended the game with 11 points.
The Lady Saints will have their first Monday off in three weeks, but will be back in action on Wednesday (Jan. 30) when they travel to Goodland to take on the Mavericks of Northwest Tech. The game will start at 5:30 p.m. MST and can be heard on 107.5 FM with Brock Kappelmann on the call.