Thatcher buzzer beater gives Bears OT win

Thatcher buzzer beater gives Bears OT win

BILLINGS — Rocky Mountain College’s Kloie Thatcher hit a buzzer beater in overtime Saturday at MetraPark to give the No. 20 ranked Battlin’ Bears a 71-69 win over the No. 13 ranked Lewis-Clark State Warriors. (Stats)

Rocky led 31-24 at the half before initiating a 9-2 run in the first two minutes of the third period to extend their lead to 14 points. Nevertheless, the Warriors rallied and tied the game at 57-57 with a 1:33 left in the 4th period. The Battlin’ Bears were unable to shake the Warriors as the clock dwindled down. A two pointer by Lewis-Clark’s Hannah Burland with less the 20 seconds left tied the game at 61-61 and forced the overtime period.

With 15 seconds left in overtime and trailing by three points, the Warriors took three consecutive shots, missing, but pulling in the rebound each time. Finally, on the fourth shot, Burland once again came through and landed a shot from beyond the arc to tie the game at 69-69.

The game looked destined for a second overtime period, but Thatcher, a sophomore Butte Central product, drove to the net for a layup as time expired to give the Battlin’ Bears their third conference win of the season.

“I’m proud of how Kloie and the entire team came together to pull off the win,” said Rocky’s women’s basketball head coach, Wes Keller. “We need to focus on how to play with a lead as the season progresses, but the team came through in overtime. Proud of them.”

Two Battlin’ Bears posted double doubles. Markaela Francis scored 19 points while pulling in a team-high 16 rebounds for her seventh double double of the season. Mackenzie Dethman posted her fourth double double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Thatcher finished the day with 19 points and seven rebounds while Antuanisha Wright had 10 points.

The Warriors’ Abbie Johnson scored a team-high 15 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. The trio of Jansen Edmiston, Kiara Burlage, and Burland all scored 12 points. Burlage also pulled in 10 rebounds.

Rocky relied heavily on its starting five with only three points coming from the bench.

The Battlin’ Bears shot 35.2 percent from the field in comparison to 32.9 percent from the Warriors. Both teams landed 6-of-21 from beyond the arc.

Rocky will play its first game in the Fortin Education Center this season on Jan. 15 against Carroll College.

—RMC Sports Information

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