The UMPI Owl Women's Basketball Team beat the Fisher College Falcons Sunday, 68-65, to stay undefeated on the year and bring their record to 5-0. And while many fans will tell you "a win is a win", this particular victory will have long standing significance.
Down 13 points with less than 8 minutes left to go, things did not look good for the visiting Owls. Senior captain Olivia McNally had been on the bench since the 12 minute mark of the second and playing a more athletic group of players without the services of the their best playmaker, seemed to stack the odds against UMPI coming back even greater.
At the 4 minute mark and Fisher up 59-51, Freshman Sydney Churchill scored on a perfectly timed sideline out of bounds play to cut the Falcon lead to 6. UMPI would continue to battle against the aggressive and more athletic Falcon players using a tough full-court defense to frustrate the Falcon squad into 4 key turnovers in the last two minutes of play.
With 58 seconds on the clock, Olivia McNally hit a 3 point shot off of an out of bounds play to tie the game at 63. Fisher would answer with a quick basket to regain the lead 65-63. A UMPI foul shot would bring the score to 65-64 with 41 second left.
A steal by Brigette Pratt would give UMPI the ball with 36 seconds on the clock and down one point. The Owls would attack quickly trying to use the shot clock to their advantage and exchange at least two possessions for one by Fisher. Amanda Hotham would drive into the paint with a nifty floater that rimmed out, but Kristin Thompson out battled three Falcons for the ball and pointblank putback that give the Blue & Gold the 66-65 lead with 31 seconds on the clock.
UMPI pressed and the Falcons needed all ten seconds of the time allowed to get the ball past half-court. Fisher worked the ball around the perimeter and launched a three point shot that would miss long. Owl Point Guard Darby Toth gathered the carom and was fouled with 6.7 seconds on the clock. Toth continued her strong play and heady coolness to make both shots, giving the ladies from Presque Isle a hard-fought 68-65 victory.
Hotham lead the Owls with 18 points, Toth added 13 and junior captain Brigitte Pratt notched 12 points and played her usual outstanding defensive game for UMPI.
The Blue & Gold return to Presque Isle to host UMaine rival Fort Kent Wednesday at 5:30pm as part of a men's/women's doubleheader.