By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
With Bucknell trailing in overtime, Shelby Romine gathered the ball and drove in the lane.
As the final second rapidly flew off of the clock, Romine absorbed contact and hoisted a shot off of the backboard. With Romine sprawled on the ground, the ball fell through the hoop to send the Patriot League battle with Navy into double-overtime.
According to Romine, she was couldn’t see her shot fall, but her teammates quickly reacted to swarm Romine as she rose from the floor.
“It’s just one of those shots where you shoot it and hope for the best,” Romine said.
Romine scored all of Bucknell’s points in the second overtime but Navy outlasted the Bison for a 94-92 double-overtime win at Sojka Pavilion Wednesday.
“Maybe a few shots went our way coming down the stretch,” Romine said. “I wanted to win. It hurts worse [in] double overtime in a loss.”
“I’m really proud of our kids,” Bucknell coach Aaron Roussell said. “Tough one that you have to take a [loss] on.”
Romine had a chance to provide one final exhilarating moment in a game filled with them late in the action, but a heave from 40 feet at the buzzer fell off of the back iron.
After Romine sent the game into a second overtime, the Midshipmen quickly scored the initial seven points of the period to take an 89-82 lead with 3:19 left.
Needing a quick spark, Romine worked her way to the foul line and knocked down four straight free throws sandwiching a pair from Navy.
Continuing to attack, Romine cut the lead to a point, 93-92, with five seconds left.
Romine kept the game alive in the first extra session and Audrey Dotson did the same at the end of regulation.
Dotson extended the game into an overtime session with a swift move in the paint on the final play of regulation.
“It was just time to get to the rim,” Dotson said.
Camping in the high post and taking a pass, Dotson spun to her left and laid the ball off of the backboard as time expired although the game was far from over. Using a quick first-step, Dotson was a consistent force inside for the Bison, finishing with 28 points.
Along with Claire DeBoer, Dotson helped the Bison to establish a post presence early, going toe-to-toe with Navy’s Jade Geif, the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year.
Against a Midshipmen squad that was undefeated in league play, the Bison used outside shooting mixed with conversions inside to stay one possession ahead for much of the first half.
Although the Midshipmen ended the first half with nine straight points and extended their run to 13 straight points with a quick start to the second half, the Bison stayed with striking distance.
With Dotson and DeBoer inside and Megan McGurk knocking down shots from the perimeter, the Bison kept the game tight.
The consistent shot-making for the Bison paid off with Dotson giving her team a one-point lead, 51-50 with 12:31 left and McGurk regaining the lead on a corner 3-pointer three minutes later.
After the Midshipmen tied the game at 56, Sheaira Jones took the ball on the wing, made a jab step to drive along the baseline but instead knocked down a trey to give the Bison a 60-58 lead.
Dotson scored inside and hit a pair of free throws at the line to put the Bison ahead 66-65, continuing her work inside.
Both teams continued to battle inside with the largest lead over the final five minutes being two points.