Republic overcame a 16-point deficit in the second half, storming from behind to beat Nixa 82-68 in overtime. The Lady Tigers outscored Nixa 21-7 in the extra period to pull away. Savana Powell-Goodman scored 15 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter and the overtime, and she stepped up with big defensive plays throughout the second half to go along with the scoring explosion.
Powell-Goodman made several big plays at key moments, but three stood out. One tied the game 59-59, pulling Republic even for the first time since the first quarter. The next, a three-pointer at the start of overtime, gave the Lady Tigers an early lead. And the third was a conventional three-point play on a driving, leaning runner in the lane that gave Republic a two-possession lead. She scored the first eight points of the overtime for Republic.
Nixa had controlled the first half, thanks to junior Macie Conway. Conway scored 17 points in the first two quarters, including three three-pointers. The Lady Eagles scored 27 points in the second quarter and led 41-27 at halftime. They seemed to be on their way to an easy win, when they stretched the lead to 16 points early in the third quarter, 48-32.
But during a timeout, Kris Flood told his Lady Tigers that they had the ability to dig their way out of the hole.
“He was just telling us we have the talent … and we have each other. We may be down by 16, but we definitely have the opportunity to come back, and we did,” Powell-Goodman said.
They started to make progress toward that goal on the defensive end. From that point to the end of the third quarter, Republic outscored Nixa 14-2, and when Rilynn Finley found herself 25 feet from the basket with time running out, she banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to make the score 50-46.
Nixa scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to lead by nine points again, but that’s as big as the lead would be the rest of the night. Republic reeled off another 10-2 run to get the lead down to two, 56-54.
In the final minute, Nixa led 59-56 when Powell-Goodman made her biggest shot of the night to that point. Kaitlyn Ragsdale bobbled the ball coming into the front court but managed to push it toward Powell-Goodman on the right wing. Powell-Goodman shot the ball as defender Norah Clark closed on her, arching it over her outstretched hands a moment before Clark plowed into her. The shot went in to tie the game 59-59, but Powell-Goodman’s free throw was off the mark.
“I felt a little bit contested. I don’t know how far the girl was to me, but I was just thinking, ‘Just shoot it, Savana.'” she said.
Ali Kamies missed a close-range shot at the other end, and Kaemyn Bekemeier was fouled as she tried to make a game-winning layup on the resulting fast break. Bekemeier hit both free throws to put Republic up 61-59, but Nixa tied it at the buzzer on a shot by Ali Kamies.
Powell-Goodman responded with the three-pointer to get the overtime off to a good start, and Republic never trailed in overtime.
Republic improves to 15-7. Nixa falls to 16-7.
Savana Powell-Goodman 20, Kaemyn Bekemeier 17, Kaitlyn Ragsdale 17, Jazzy Kirby 13, Rilynn Finley 13, Ashlyn Leonard 2,