Last Second Shot Doesn’t Fall; Women’s Basketball Eliminated from NCAA Tournament

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – Four years ago Kira Harvey sent Lynn University's women's basketball team to the NCAA Tournament with a three-point shot from the corner.  Tonight, the senior South Region Player of the Year's final shot hit the back of the rim as time expired and the Fighting Knights fell 45-44 to Rollins in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.  Lynn's season ends with an 18-10 overall record.

Rollins did not back down from the Blue & White's second-half hot hand, with Ashley Losch and Marie Gilbert connecting on a pair of jumpers to knot the game at 37.  Back and forth the two teams went but the crowd went into a roar when Harvey stole the ball with 2:53 to play and went coast-to-coast, giving LU a 44-43 advantage.

Sarah Taylor marched right back down the court and knocked in a jumper in the paint for the 45-44 lead with 2:39 left, in what would be the final basket of the game.  Lynn had a pair of chances under a minute but Rollin's turned away two shots.  

The Fighting Knights looked, though, as they would take the contest when Harvey, also the Sunshine State Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year, stole the ball away from Taylor with 19 seconds to play.  Coming out of a timeout, Harvey was blanketed by three players and was able to get the ball to Shatorria Baker before taking back control with five seconds.  But Harvey's last second shot hit the back of the rim.

The Blue & White looked every bit the team that had previously knocked off the Tars (21-8) in two regular season contests, running and gunning to a 12-5 lead behind a pair of threes from Harvey.  Rollins' defense clamped down the remainder of the half and took a 20-17 lead into the break.

Lynn's three-point shooting took off, though, following halftime with Zachara Bailey leading the charge.  The freshman from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., knocked down 4-of-6 attempts from beyond the arc  in the second half in helping LU take a 37-33 lead.

Not to be overdone, Harvey added a pair of trey's and closed out her career with 15 points and seven rebounds.  Bailey, meanwhile, scored a career-best 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

Charla Nelson-James grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and swatted away three shots.  Ashley Jones was the only Tar to score in double-figures, going 4-for-9 from the field for 10 points.

Lynn graduates Harvey, Tashina Bailey, Amanda Schultz and Karolina Bazua but return seven letterwinners, including Zachara Bailey and Nelson-James.  The Fighting Knights still had one of their best seasons ever, claiming their first SSC Regular Season title, winning a program-best 11 league games and watching Harvey be named the program's first SSC Player & Defensive Player of the Year and Daktronics South Region Player of the Year awards.