It took a game winner in double overtime, 18 missed free throws and a 58-percent shooting day from 3-point range, but the Lady Raiders lost their first game Sunday. On a wild day at the Bess Activity Center, Southeastern Illinois point guard Shamari Tyson nailed a jump shot with one second remaining in double overtime to hand Three Rivers a 90-88 loss. After missing Saturday's game to attend a funeral, Tyson came out Sunday and lit up the court, dropping 36 points and seven assists on an 8 of 11 day from beyond the arc. "It was as good of a third game of the year as you could probably want to watch anytime during the year," head coach Jeff Walk said. "We made plays. They made plays. If you go into double overtime and get beat at the buzzer, that's a heck of a game." The Lady Raiders had a lot of positives to look back on, but they were haunted by their 12 of 30 day at the charity stripe and a 29-percent day from long range, shooting 10 of 35 versus Southeastern Illinois' 18 of 31 line. "We were 12 for 30 from the free-throw line," Walk said. "You don't look any further than that. Honestly, they should've beat us worse than what they did with us shooting that free throw percentage, but they didn't. The kids played hard."
Three Rivers still had its share of chances in both overtime periods. In the first, the Lady Raiders forced a turnover with 10 seconds remaining, but freshman guard Jordan Little had a 3-point attempt blocked at the buzzer after splitting a pair of free throws to tie the game with 16 seconds left. After a back and forth second overtime, J'Kayla Fowler missed a pair from the line, leaving the game tied at 88 with 46 seconds to go. That was the last shot Three Rivers attempted before Tyson's heroics won the game for the Lady Falcons. Three Rivers started the game out hot in the first half, jumping in front 31- 17 in the second quarter for the largest lead by either team. Southeastern Illinois responded with an 18-0 run to take its first lead of the game. Neither side led by more than six points the rest of the game on the way to 10 ties and 13 lead changes. Defensively, the Lady Raiders had their usual day. Aside from the atypical 3-point shooting by the visitors, Three Rivers forced 37 turnovers and turned those into 23 points. The Lady Raiders committed 30 turnovers of their own. Freshman Hannah Thurmon scored 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds, and at the 7:06 mark of the fourth quarter, she made a layup that sparked a 12-4 spurt by Three Rivers. Little led the team with 20 points, shooting 5 of 10 from beyond the arc, three more makes from deep than any other Lady Raider. J'Kayla Fowler added a double double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, 11 of which were offensive and helped Three Rivers earn 18 second chance points. "I wanted to win it, don't get me wrong, but you go into double overtime with four freshman out on the floor pretty much the entire game, we're going to be OK," Walk said. " The Lady Raiders will return home at 8:30 p.m. Friday to host Rend Lake College.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic