Despite starting the second half with a pair of air balls, Jordan Danberry finished strong, with a career-high 37 points, to lead No. 1 Conway to a 92-89 overtime win over Bentonville Thursday night.
The Arkansas commit had 16 points at halftime, but came out after the break cold and the Tigers built a small lead over the Wampus Cats, causing Conway head coach Ashley Nance to sit her starting five.
“I was really upset with my first group,” Nance said. “They were kind of doubting our game plan a little bit. It was kind of a learning lesson. I wanted them to sit there and watch.”
Danberry said the time of the bench calmed her down and she responded by scoring 14 points the rest of the half, including making key plays down the stretch.
After she made a layup to tie the game with just over one minute remaining, Bentonville got out to a six-point lead.
The Wampus Cats fought back with a pair of 3-pointers – one of which came from Danberry – and following two missed free throws by the Tigers, with Conway down by two, the star point guard took the ball up the court and drew a foul with 5.5 seconds left in regulation.
She calmly sunk both free throws to force overtime.
“When I shot that three, I thought the game was over, but then it went it, so I was like, ‘We have hope still,’” Danberry said. “Then they trusted me with the ball in my hands, so I went to take it and luckily I got the foul called and put the free throws in.”
In the overtime period, she scored seven of her team’s 13 points, helping the Wampus Cats avoid the upset. She also beat Bentonville’s press in the final 17 seconds of overtime with Conway up by only three points, which sealed the victory.
Danberry, the No. 47 player in the Class of 2015 according to ESPN.com, finished with 37 points (13-of-22 FG, 3-of-7 3PT, 8-of-10 FT), four rebounds, three assists and two steals in more than 30 minutes of action.
“She picked it up at the end and that’s Jordan’s M.O.,” Nance said. “She’ll make me feel like I’m going to turn 98 tomorrow at the beginning of the game, but when our backs are against the wall, she really turns it on.
“I wish we could get that for four straight quarters, but hopefully (Arkansas head coach Jimmy) Dykes will do that.”
Danberry Scores 37 in OT Win
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