POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. —
William Penn had an answer to every Dordt run, giving the numerous Statesmen faithful plenty of reason to believe the upset was in the stars. The Dordt crowd, easily the biggest outside of that from host College of the Ozarks, willed their team to an improbable comeback though. Down seven with just inside of one minute to go, the Defenders scored six straight and ten of the last 13 to knot things up at 99.
Kelly Madison paced all weary players with 38 points on 12-for-23 shooting (5-for-11 3-PT), but could not hit a trifecta as time ran out in regulation.
By all rights, Madison’s missed shot should have been the final nail in William Penn’s coffin. A slightly vertically-challenged squad to begin with, the Statesmen ran into early foul trouble and actually lost post players Erik McGee and Roberts Baltruns to foul-outs with seven and two minutes to go, respectively. That left William Penn with only seven players available on its roster. Things looked bleak to be optimistic.
With Keeter Gymnasium booming behind its fanbase, Dordt was in the driver’s seat as the first overtime session began. William Penn drew first blood, though, on a Madison layup, but then five unanswered came from Dordt. But then, one by one, the top Defender scorers picked up their last fouls and the balance of power swayed back to even. Dordt was whistled for 33 fouls, the third-most in tournament history.
Still in the rearview by three at 108-105, the Statesmen scored the last three points in a quiet last 2:10 of play. Despite many chances, neither side tallied a point in the final 1:23, including a missed three-pointer by Dordt’s Bryan Sumner as time expired.
Survival was the key for the Statesmen in the first overtime, but with Dordt having just one player left in double figures and William Penn’s proverbial cupboards stocked full of scoring threats in Madison, Stahle and Alec Schwab, the once bleak outlook changed dramatically to very sunny for the second OT.