Franklin, MASS.- The Dean College Bulldogs battled valiantly but fell to Fitchburg State College 94-89 in double overtime.
In a back and forth battle that came down to the wire, ultimately the Bulldogs came up just short. After Dana Jackson scored for Dean to tie the game at 89 with a minute to go in 2OT, Kyra Rose made 3 free throws over the course of the next two possesions to give the Falcons a 92-89 lead with 6 seconds left.
A 3 pointer from Sophia Corbitt was blocked out of bounds leaving the Bulldogs 1.3 seconds remaining. Vianah Smith caught the inbounds pass in the right corner, and drilled a 3 pointer with .2 seconds remaining but she was called for travelling before the shot which negated the basket. Fitchburg tacked on 2 late free throws after a technical foul to win 94-89.
The game was tightly contested throughout. There were 16 ties and 18 lead changes. Nobody led by more than 4 points for the last four minutes of the fourth quarter or in either overtime.
The Bulldogs were led by Vianah Smith, who scored 20 points and added 8 rebounds. They also had four other players in double figures. Chelsea Johnson had 18, Denisha Gardener had 14 points and 14 boards, Dana Jackson had 13 points and 19 rebounds, Fataya Larry had 10 points and 7 rebounds, and Iindia Pina had 7 points and 7 boards.
Fitchburg was led by the 1-2 punch of Kyra Rose and Allysa Rivera. Rose had 36 and 12. Slashing to the paint and finishing consistently, she shot 11 of 21 from the field and 13-18 from the line. Rivera got hot from 3 point range, scoring 22 on 6-13 from deep. Amy Connolly scored 11 points and added 10 rebounds off the bench and Michaela McTomney chipped in with 10 points.
Trailing by 10 late in the second quarter, Vianah Smith nailed a 3 to cut the lead to 39-32 going into the break.
Dean rallied with a 17-10 third quarter to send the game into the fourth all knotted up at 49. Dean's lead swelled to 67-61 with just over 4 minutes remaining in the fourth, but layups and free throws from Rose, and a timely 3 from Rivera gave the Falcons a 2 point lead with under 10 seconds remaining. Smith responded for the Bulldogs with a swooping layup that tied the game at 74 and sent us to our first overtime.
The teams traded free throws in the first overtime with many starters on both sides fouling out of the game. A big freethrow from Aicha Kone tied the game at 81 with 20 seconds remaining and extended the contest to a second overtime.
Dean shot 32% from the field and 21% from 3 point range. They outrebounded the Falcons 59-48. The Bulldogs had a decisive lead in points off the bench (39-18). The Falcons shot better, shooting 42% from the field and 31% from 3, as well as leading in points in the paint 44-36.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a road contest at Southern Maine on Saturday at 1:00.
Fitchburg hosts Framingham St. on Wednesday night at 8.