Megan Eyre Interview
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a game that broke GLIAC and ODU records, Ohio Dominican's women's basketball team fended off Wayne State 111-106 in a double overtime thriller Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall.
The Panthers (12-4, 7-3 GLIAC) led by five with 22 seconds left in regulation, but Wayne State (7-9, 2-8 GLIAC) forced overtime by banking in a three at the buzzer. ODU had a three point lead late in the first overtime session, but an offensive rebound putback off a missed free throw by Wayne State with 25 seconds left tied the game, ultimately forcing the second overtime.
Tied at 103 with 39 seconds left in the last period after a Warrior three-pointer, senior Melissa Scherpenberg (Cincinnati, Ohio) answered with a triple from the top of the key, and sophomore Megan Eyre (Fayetteville, Ohio) sank five free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
In GLIAC only games, this one represented the highest scoring contest in conference history with the 217 combined points, breaking the previous record of 207. The Panthers broke conference records in free throw makes (47) and attempts (58), with both of those easily shattering school records as well.
The win was also the first in program history over Wayne State, as the Panthers had dropped the first eight meetings between the schools.
Junior Madi Rittinger (Dayton, Ohio) led ODU with 26 points, to go along with 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals. The points and rebounds were both career highs, and she was one assist shy of matching a personal best.
Eyre tallied 23 points off the bench, a career high, and finished 15-of-17 from the free throw line. She also pocketed a career high six steals in 29 minutes.
Junior Lauren Bates (Hilliard, Ohio) finished with 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting, and Scherpenberg posted 18 points to go along with 15 rebounds.
The Panthers watched a 13 point second quarter lead melt away as Wayne State fought back to come within 35-34 at the break. ODU briefly took a six point lead, 40-34, in the third period, but the Warriors outscored ODU by 11 over the final 7:22 and led 57-52 going into the fourth.
Wayne State built its biggest lead of the game at 65-56 with 7:25 to go and appeared to be pulling away, but the Panthers rallied.
Senior Rachael Torey (Sterling Heights, Mich.) muscled in a tough jump shot and drew a foul, sparking a 13-0 Panther response. Sophomore Darian Rose (Fort Loramie, Ohio) hit a pair of free throws, and Eyre and Bates made layups to draw the game even at 65 with 5:16 to play.
Eyre made another layup and Rittinger knocked down a jumper in the lane to put the Panthers in front 69-65 with just over four minutes left.
The Warriors drew even again at 69, but the Panthers grabbed a pair of five point leads in the final two minutes. Leading 77-72, ODU missed a shot with 44 seconds left, came away with a defensive stop, but turned the ball over with 22 ticks remaining.
WSU countered with a three-point play with 16 seconds, but Scherpenberg hit two free throws to make it 79-75 ODU with 13 seconds left. The Warriors answered with a three with six seconds left, and after a pair of Eyre free throws, had the ball on their own baseline with exactly 3.0 seconds left.
A length of the floor pass found Kristen Long, who turned and banked in a three as time expired to force the first overtime.
Tied at 90 with 1:36 left in that period, Rittinger drew a foul and made a free throw, before a fire alarm went off in Alumni Hall, causing a 15 minute delay. Rittinger missed the second free throw when play resumed, but the Panthers came up with several defensive stops, and Scherpenberg sank two free throws to make it 93-90 with 49 seconds left.
Wayne State drew a foul with 27 seconds left, made the first free throw but missed the second. However, Payton Birchmeier collected the offensive rebound and laid it in to tie the game at 93 with 25 seconds left.
Scherpenberg had a layup blocked out of play with 1.5 seconds left, and on the ensuing inbounds play could not convert on a contested 10 footer in the lane, resulting in the second overtime.
ODU never trailed in the final overtime, leading by four at 101-97 with 3:05 left after junior Kayla Cook (Westerville, Ohio) hit a three from in front of the ODU bench. The Warriors hung close, though, drawing even at 103 on a three-pointer before Scherpenberg and Eyre closed out the win.
The Panthers finished 30-of-79 from the floor (38.0 percent), but knocked down 81.0 percent from the line on those 47 makes. The Panthers' previous school record of makes in a game was 32, set twice, including at Northwood last January.
Eyre's 15 made free throws equaled a school record (Dana Cummings, 1999) and her 17 attempts were one short of the school record of 18 set by Summer Hale (2010), who was in attendance as part of today's alumni festivities.
The 111 points were the most for ODU since putting up 115 in an overtime win against Olivet Nazarene on Dec. 30, 2009. Saturday's game fell nine points shy of the ODU record for most combined points in a game, set in that contest against Olivet Nazarene (226).
Ohio Dominican hits the road for a 5:30 p.m. game at Walsh on Thursday.
GLIAC record research courtesy Jeff Weiss, Wayne State
Contact: Scott Miles