College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

College of DuPage's Student Newspaper

The Courier

Title Art by ADHL
“Eva's World” Page 25
Title Art by ADHL
“Eva's World” Page 24
Title Art by ADHL
“Eva's World” Page 25
Title Art by ADHL
“Eva's World” Page 24

Women’s Basketball Buzzer-Beater Thriller Leads to Win Over Lake County

The Chaparrals avoided a loss after Sarah Topps scored a spectacular three-point game winner to secure a 45-43 win over the Lancers.
CODs+bench+sprints+towards+sophomore+Sarah+Topps+after+hitting+the+game-winning+three-pointer.+
Rachel Wagner
COD’s bench sprints towards sophomore Sarah Topps after hitting the game-winning three-pointer.

After gaining possession off of a jump ball call, the College of DuPage women’s basketball team earned an opportunity to come back from a one-point deficit late in the fourth quarter. Off of an inbound pass, sophomore forward Sarah Topps hit a 20-foot three-pointer at the top of the key with three seconds left in the game to score a stunning buzzer beater. The game-winning shot silenced the Lancer’s bench and resulted in all players and coaches from COD’s bench to run towards the middle of the court with loud cheers from the crowd.

“The goal was to give [the ball] to one of our best shooters [on the inbound play]. [Lake County] came out and guarded [Sierra Gibson], and she passed me the ball, and I just had to be ready to shoot,” said Topps. “I knew my teammates trusted me. Putting that shot up meant the world to me and them. [The game winning] shot brought us together and got us the game. Overall, we did a pretty good job on shutting down [Lake County] shooters and forcing others to step up.”

Sophomore guard Sierra Gibson set the tone in the first half of the game by leading the team in scoring with 13 points and securing five rebounds to help COD go into halftime with a 24-23 lead over Lake County. Gibson finished the night with 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

“When the [game-winning] shot went in, it was insane,” said Gibson. “We didn’t want it to be a close game, but it just made it so much more enjoyable. I know my role, and when I play aggressively it opens up opportunities for my teammates. I just try to give my teammates the most opportunities possible to get open on the court.”

After a back-and-forth first half that consisted of five score ties and four lead changes, COD continued to go toe-to-toe with the Lancers by shooting 50% from the three-point line and not allowing Lake County to score a single three-pointer in the second half.

With 12 seconds left in the game, freshman guard Autumn Rohde hit a much-needed three-pointer to keep COD in the game late in the fourth and cut the Lancers lead to 43-42.

Despite having a quiet first half, Rohde stepped up when her team needed her the most and scored her first points of the game late in the fourth quarter.

“I wasn’t hitting my shots throughout the entire game, but the team needed me. I needed to step up and take one more shot,” said Rohde. “We wanted this win so bad and needed it. We just needed to come with the right mindset and just play our game. We didn’t start the first half as well as we wanted, but in the end, we showed how we can play as a team. I got goosebumps [after the game-winning shot], and I feel like those shots bring us closer together as a team.”

After being down only one point late in the fourth, the Chaparrals gained possession after a jump ball call was signaled by the referee and gave COD the opportunity to set up a game-winning inbound play.

With three seconds left, Rohde quickly caught the inbound pass and was able to find Topps at the top of the key to drain a 20-foot three-point game-winner to defeat Lake County 45-43.

Despite the nail-biting, game-winning thriller, head women’s basketball coach Abby Talley was proud of COD’s late effort and tough defense.

“I thought our girls did a good job at understanding the scouting report and applying it on the court,” Talley said. “We’ve been in [close games] a little too many times for my liking this season, but it was about time that something went our way. Our girls were just able to stay focused the entire game and execute on defense. For [the shot] to be made by [Topps], who has been a leader on this team, it’s huge, and it’s good for her too.”

The Chaparrals (3-7) will take on McHenry County College at COD at 1 p.m. on Dec. 16.

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