PEMBERTON, NJ --- Deja Vu, anyone?
A little over a year after ASA Women's Basketball claimed their 20th win of 2011-12 in a double-overtime thriller against Burlington County College, the Lady Avengers and Lady Barons played another instant classic that led to ASA's 20th win of the year.
Sophomore guard Shaquita Smith nailed the game-winning three pointer as time expired to give #21 ASA (20-3) a 70-69 victory over Burlington (20-6) on Saturday evening. Sophomore forward Tiffany Jones played her best game of the year, registering season-highs of 24 points and 24 rebounds while setting up the Smith's game-winner with one of her two assists.
Overall, the game was played in waves from the beginning. ASA opened the game on a 13-4 run over the first 5:39, with Jones scoring eight of the team's points. Burlington, known for its composure and steady offense, would not go away. The Lady Barons slowly chipped away at the ASA lead, closing to within two points (29-27; 2:31) and one point (33-32; 0:44) before the end of the half. The Lady Avengers would ultimately go into halftime with a 37-34 advantage, including 14 points from Jones.
ASA began the second half pulling away from BCC, peeling off a 16-2 run in the first 6:58 of the period to take a 53-36 lead with 13:02 remaining. Again, Burlington would not go away quietly, outscoring ASA 30-13 over the next 11:41, tying the game at 66-66 on a Bonicia Terry 3-pointer.
After a Jones free throw broke the tie (67-66), BCC's Mama Traore was fouled after scoring on a driving layup and hit the ensuing free throw to give Burlington a 69-67 lead with 3.8 seconds left.
Sophomore guard Brianna Mitchell inbounded the ball and passed it to Jones, who turned and dished it to Smith for the spot up three with two defenders around her. The officials immediately ruled the shot good, sending the ASA bench into a frenzy and the Burlington crowd into a stunned silence.
Jones finished 7-for-15 from the field and 10-for-14 from the free throw line and added two steals and three blocks. Freshman guard Kelcey Castro added 16 points for the Lady Avengers - including four 3-pointers - along five rebounds and three steals. Sophomore forward Sashana Bucknor and freshman guard Erica Juarbe also played solid games, each scoring eight points and pulling down 14 and 10 rebounds respectively.
Smith scored five points in limited action due to injury but made the most of her time when it mattered most.
ASA will finish the regular-season with two games this week. The Lady Avengers will host Globe on Tuesday, February 19 at 6:00PM at St. Francis College for Sophomore Night before traveling to CCRI on Saturday, February 23rd.
Watch the game winning sequence here: