MILWAUKEE – Tonight at the Bloechl Center, the Mount Mary University basketball team defeated the visiting Rockford University Regents in overtime by a score of 72-62. Erica Williams (So./Bloomington, Ill.) recorded her ninth collegiate double-double as she led her Blue Angels to a 1-0 start to the 2018-19 season.
Just one point separated the teams in the first quarter. The Regents started the game with a 4-0 lead, but the Blue Angels came right back. Throughout the first 10 minutes of play, the teams traded the lead eight times.
A very close first quarter saw the Regents lead by a 20-18 score at the end of the frame. The narrow lead was due in part to Rockford hitting 6-of-10 from the free throw line while MMU only saw the charity stripe twice in the first.
The second quarter saw much of the same. MMU and Rockford continued to trade baskets throughout the frame. Right before the halftime horn sounded, the Blue Angels tied things up when Lucy Pavelko (Jr./Muskego, Wis.) took matters into her own hands and blazed past multiple defenders on her way to the bucket.
Tied at 29-29 to begin the third quarter, the teams continued to keep it close. Early in the frame, the Regents took a four-point lead that lasted nearly 40 seconds. That is until Rae Grubbs (Jr./Covington, Ind.) hit a three-pointer to cut the margin to one.
MMU traded the lead with their opponent two more times until they took the lead late on another Pavelko made jumper. The Blue Angels held that lead to end the quarter 45-43.
The Blue Angels continued to role with the momentum in the fourth quarter. The early spark helped MMU push their lead out to nine with just three minutes remaining in the quarter. The Regents did not give in and went on a 9-0 run to send the game into overtime.
It was the depth of MMU's bench that may have been the difference in overtime. With the game tied at 58-58, the Regents hit the proverbial wall with only six players on their active roster. The energetic Blue Angels took advantage going on a 6-0 run.
The Regents continued to attack, but MMU hit 8-of-11 from the free throw line to ice away the win. Rockford shot 1-of-12 from the field in overtime and 1-of-2 from the free throw line.
"I am very proud of our team's mental approach tonight," said Mount Mary Head Basketball Coach Marc Heidorf. "To come back from a rough last few minutes of regulation to reset, [sic] re-group, and re-focus for overtime was admirable."
Grubbs led the offense with 16 points in her usual recipe of hitting 4-of-8 from 3-point territory. Williams was right behind Grubbs with 15 points but was also able to pull in 18 rebounds to record her first double-double of the season.
Pavelko finished 6-of-7 from the field for 13 points along with her two assists, two steals and two blocks. Freshman Ka'Riah Simmons (Genesee, Mich.) was just one rebound shy of a double-double in her collegiate debut. The rookie forward finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
MMU will have little time to rest before heading on the road to Indiana Sunday. The Blue Angels will take on the Franklin College Grizzlies at 1:00 pm at the Spurlock Center. Live stats and video will be available at MtMaryAthletics.com.