By BRETT TUDELA
BILLINGS, Mont. – The closest game the Campbellsville women’s basketball team has played in about a month and a half came in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament as the Lady Tigers squeaked out an 89-85 overtime win over University of Providence.
CU was led offensively by the career-high 40 points from senior forward Jordan Doram. Doram was a dominant force in the post only missing four shots going 14-for-18 from the field and when she was fouled, she only missed one of her 13 free throws.
Doram was basically all of the bench and paint scoring for the Lady Tigers as they scored 43 bench points as a team and 46 points in the paint for the game with 28 coming from Doram. Doram also spread out her scoring throughout the game with seven in the first quarter, 12 in the second, 10 in the third, four in the fourth and seven in the five-minute extra period.
Campbellsville led for a majority of the of the game winning each of the first two quarters to lead by five heading into halftime at 42-37. The Argonauts answered back to start the second half on a 10-0 run, a lot on second chance points as they finished with 26 second chance points compared to just 10 for CU.
Parker Esary of UP was the leading contributor of those second chance points as she finished with 17 total and 9 rebounds. As a team, Providence grabbed 23 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Lady Tigers 51-30 in the game.
In the third quarter, CU climbed back into the lead after ending the quarter on a better foot to only lose the quarter by a point and lead 59-55. The Argonauts made continued to fight in the game, eventually tying the score at 67-67 before Madison Kaiser hit a big three-pointer to take a three-point lead with about three mintues left.
Kaiser came up clutch on multiple occasions as the senior finished with 16 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Three of those four made baskets were three pointers that all broke ties including the first shot of the game to give CU a 3-0 lead. She also went 5-for-6 from the free throw line, the biggest two coming with 27 seconds left in overtime to give CU a 4-point lead.
Free throws told the story late in the ballgame as at the end of regulation, the Lady Tigers had a chance to take a 3-point lead with nine seconds left but Madison Stewart hit 1-of-2 to only take a 75-73 lead before Providence hit a pair on the other end to tie the game at 75, where regulation ended before the game went to overtime.
The overtime period started unfortunately for the Argonauts as Esary rolled her ankle on the opening tip of overtime as she landed on the foot of Stewart who took and won the jump against her. As a result of Esary’s absence, rebounding in overtime was even at 7-7 after Providence won the board battle by 21 through regulation.
Sophomore guard Shyla Calbert was thrust into a pressure filled role as starting point guard Caitlin Hall fouled out late in regulation, forcing Calbert to be the primary ball handler for overtime. Calbert played the entire extra period with no turnovers an assists and hit one free throw to help stabilize the Lady Tigers final push.
CU will have a quick turnaround for their second-round matchup against Talladega College at 6:15 MT/8:15 ET. The No. 4 seed Tornadoes won their opening round game against Menlo (Calif.) by a final of 65-49 right before the Lady Tigers opening round game.