January 24th, 2020

East OT Buzzer-Beater Lifts Butler Past Assumption

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 

 East OT Buzzer-Beater Lifts Butler Past Assumption
East’s OT Buzzer-Beater Lifts Butler Past Assumption

Friday night's regular-season matchup between Butler and Assumption felt more like a region tournament game you would see in March.


So it's only fitting the game ended with a big-time player making a big-time play.


Butler junior Tiarra East hit a pull-up jumper as time expired to give the Bearettes a 45-43 overtime win over the Rockets. East finished with a game-high 21 points, but none more important than the last two.


"In a moment like that, sometimes you just have to put it in their hands and let them make a play," said Butler head coach Wyatt Foust. "We gave (Tiarra) two options. Option one wasn't there, and option two was 'Hey, just go win us the game.' And she did it. She's a great player, and that's what great players do."


"They got the ball last, and they made a big play," said Assumption head coach Stacy Pendleton. "I told them (East) or (Dynastee White) was going to score. She just drove the lane and got a little jump shot. They just made a big play at the end."


East scored 12 straight points for Butler (16-3) during a nearly eight-minute stretch in the first half, keeping the Bearettes within striking distance of the Rockets, which led 25-20 at the break.


"It seems like our games are either blowouts or really tight near the end," said Foust. "They're a tough matchup for us. They have a lot of length, they're deceptively athletic, and they're extremely smart. I knew after Wednesday's game they were going to be ready. We already played them once, and when you beat somebody once, I think the upper hand goes to the other team a little bit.


"I knew this was going to be a tough game on the road for us tonight, but I was glad to get out of here with a win."


The largest deficit of the game was seven when Assumption took a 27-20 lead early in the third quarter. The Bearettes then went on a 9-0 run to take a two-point lead and entered the fourth quarter up 34-32.


"That third quarter killed us," said Pendleton. "If we get a few more stops in the third, be a little tougher on offense, and we probably win the game. But we allowed them to get some confidence, and we missed a few shots that you have to make in a big game like this.


"It had a postseason feel. The score was certainly what you see in the postseason. If it gets up in the 60s, I don't know what kind of chance we have against them because they're superior athletically."


Down three, Assumption tied the game at 39-all on a Madalynn Nalley layup and foul. Neither team scored the final 2:35 of regulation. In the overtime period, all of the Rockets' scoring came from the free-throw line, hitting four-of-six attempts. Nalley made one-of-two from the stripe with 57 seconds remaining to tie the game again at 43-43, setting the stage for East's heroics.


Junior Dynastee White joined East in double figures with 14 points. Senior Payton Cronen led Assumption (12-9) with 14 points.


Recent Articles