LAS VEGAS — Without the services of its leading scorer for most of the game, the Simpson women's basketball team put a scare into one of the top teams in the nation before falling to Puget Sound in overtime, 77-69, at the D3hoops.com Classic at South Point Hotel and Casino on Thursday.
Elizabeth Prewitt made the game-tying free throw -- one of her 31 points -- with five seconds left in regulation and the No. 23 Loggers (9-2) scored the first eight points in overtime to hold off Simpson, which trailed by 14 points in the first half.
Freshman Amarissa Raley scored a season-high 14 points to lead the Storm (3-8), who lost leading scorer Noreen Morrow to injury in the first quarter. Ellen Gallagher and Katie Ahrenholtz combined for 21 points in Morrow's absence, Janey Botkins added 11 and Megan Lankford had 10 and five rebounds.
Simpson took a 57-53 lead with 2:31 left in the fourth quarter after a jumper by Gallagher and a layup by Botkins. Prewitt responded with a 3 and a pair of free throws by Samone Jackson gave the lead back to Puget Sound, 58-57.
Lankford drew a foul on a drive to the hoop and converted both free throws to give Simpson a 59-58 lead with 17 seconds left. Prewitt responded again, drawing a foul and converting 1 of 2 to force the extra frame.
The Loggers took over in overtime, getting back-to-back 3s from Prewitt and a jumper from Alexis Noren to open up a 67-59 advantage. Simpson got 3s from Gallgher and Ahrenholtz to make it interesting, but the deficit was too much.
Simpson enters the heart of Iowa Conference play Wednesday, Jan. 4 when it hosts Nebraska Wesleyan. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.