Game of the year

McClain Baxley

Heading into the first round of the Sun Belt conference tournament, the women’s basketball team was riding a six game losing streak.

The Eagles were just 2-16 in conference play and were matched up against a solid Louisiana team who went 10-8 in Sun Belt play.

There was little hope for the Eagles who had lost to the Ragin’ Cajuns by 10 in Hanner Fieldhouse just a few weeks before.

A 9-2 run for GS to start the game quickly provided belief for both the team and Eagle Nation.

The final game on the first day of the Sun Belt women’s basketball tournament for nearly three hours was one of “bend, don’t break” basketball.

The Eagles continuously created leads, but could never get the lead large enough to put away the Ragin’ Cajuns.

{{tncms-inline account=”GS W. Basketball” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">HALFTIME IN NEW ORLEANSEagles with the five-point lead thanks to 14 points from Nakol Franks, including four three-pointers.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LevelUp?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LevelUp</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SunBeltBBALL?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SunBeltBBALL</a> <a href="https://t.co/tWAeUHC0Xk">pic.twitter.com/tWAeUHC0Xk</a></p>— GS W. Basketball (@GSAthletics_WBB) <a href="https://twitter.com/GSAthletics_WBB/status/971206877035028481?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 7, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/GSAthletics_WBB/status/971206877035028481″ type=”twitter”}}

At halftime, GS held a 36-31 lead behind sophomore guard Nakol Franks’ 14 first half points.

By the end of the third quarter, the lead was squandered with the game tied at 45.

The Eagles had the lead in the fourth quarter for more than seven minutes of the ten minute period.

With 53 seconds left in regulation, GS had a 58-56 lead and then missed two layups before Nakol Franks gave her final foul sending Louisiana to the free throw line.

Jasmine Thomas hit them both.

Overtime was a back and forth affair with most points scored in transition.

Tied at 64, Alexis Brown sent a layup to the basket for the game winning shot, but it didn’t fall.

The second overtime period for the Eagles was spent playing catch-up.

It looked like the season was over when Brown missed her second free throw, but a wild Hailey Dias-Allen tip-back tied the game, sending it to a third overtime.

Exhausted and having been playing catch up in the period prior, the Eagles fell behind early and the Ragin’ Cajuns ran away with it, 88-81.

{{tncms-inline account=”• Lex 💕•” html=”<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Nobody can say that we didn't put forth 110%. We showed everyone that we did not come to play no matter what happened in TRIPLE OT tonight. Yes it hurt, but I'm so proud of how we played. I'm pretty sure ULL didn't expect that. We believed when it was unbelievable ! <a href="https://t.co/kntpn4fLCh">https://t.co/kntpn4fLCh</a></p>— • Lex 💕• (@AlexisJenai) <a href="https://twitter.com/AlexisJenai/status/971242774195572736?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 7, 2018</a></blockquote>” id=”https://twitter.com/AlexisJenai/status/971242774195572736″ type=”twitter”}}

“For our young kids, it’s such a huge confidence boost to see they can come in here and compete,” head coach Kip Drown said following the loss. “One play here, one play there, and we’re playing here on Thursday.”

Sophomore Hailey Dias-Allen led the team in scoring with 18 and in her final game as an Eagle senior Alexis Foulks came down with 14 rebounds to compliment her 12 points.

McClain Baxley, The George-Anne Sports Editor, [email protected]