TACOMA, Wash. – Junior Jocelyn Riordan scored a career-high 32 points to eclipse the 1,000 career points mark and lead the University of Puget Sound women's basketball team to a thrilling 81-78 overtime victory over Whitman on Saturday. It was the second consecutive day that both teams needed the extra period.
"My team needed me tonight," commented Riordan. "I was able to step up. My teammates had big rebounds and big shots too."
Riordan scored 25 of her 32 points over the second half and overtime to lead the Loggers (17-4, 10-2 NWC) to their second overtime victory in as many days. Riordan's performance ties her for the ninth-highest scoring game in Puget Sound history. She also added seven rebounds.
"Jocelyn put the team on her back tonight," said head coach Loree Payne. "Great players do that."
The Loggers opened the game on a 10-1 run but were unable hold the momentum as Whitman (12-9, 6-6 NWC) fought back and eventually took the lead. The first half was a back-and forth battle from that point with five lead change and three ties. The Missionaries held a five-point lead as time ran down in the first half, but freshman Taylor Jones sunk a three-pointer to pull the Loggers within two (32-30) at the break.
Riordan took over the game in the second half, scoring 15 points to lead the Loggers to as much as a 12 point lead. But Whitman continued to fight led by 23 points from Jenele Peterson and 20 points from Kelly Peterson and eventually tied the game to force overtime.
Riordan opened the extra frame with a bucket on the first possession to give the Loggers a lead they would not relinquish. Jones nailed another big three-pointer on the next possession to open a 67-62 lead for the Loggers. The teams traded baskets over the rest of the period and Whitman closed the gap to 79-78 with just three seconds left. However, Riordan shut the door on the Whitman comeback as she knocked down two free throws with 0.2 seconds remaining. The final two free throws gave her 10 points in the overtime period.
After losing the rebound battle in the first half, the Loggers worked hard on the boards to win that battle 48-39 in the game. The Loggers also pulled down 24 offensive rebounds to the Missionaries' 11. Sarah Stewart led the charge on the glass with a game-high 11 rebounds. Lindsay Layland added seven rebounds and 11 points.
"Rebounding is the key to our victories," added Payne. "We outrebounded them by nine tonight and that was the difference in the game."
The Loggers will host Pacific Lutheran when the two Tacoma rivals clash at Memorial Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.