Alex Law and the Davenport Panthers’ women’s basketball team looked to be on their way to the NAIA national championship game Monday night — until a late 3-pointer by Alice Heinzler.
Heinzler, a freshman guard for The College of the Ozarks, drilled a 3-pointer with 12.9 seconds remaining to give the Ozarks a one-point lead and paved the way for a 75-72 victory in Monday’s semifinal clash at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa.
Law, a sophomore from Grand Haven, had two tries to salvage the game for Davenport. Her long 3-point try with about 5 seconds remaining came up short. After a pair of Ozarks’ free throws, Law had another chance off an inbounds play with 1.2 seconds remaining, but her desperation attempt was well defended and didn’t come close.
Davenport (34-2) was the No. 1 seed, yet it was the seventh-seeded Ozarks that led for much of the game. Davenport trailed by eight in the second half but stormed back and took a 61-58 lead on Law’s third 3-pointer of the night.
The Panthers maintained that lead for the next several minutes and were on top 66-60 after a bucket inside by Tiesha Stokes.
The Ozarks battled back behind forward Brandy Uchtman, who drilled a 3-pointer to make it 66-65. Heinzler then swished two free throws for a 67-66 Ozarks’ lead.
Davenport scored four straight before Uchtman hit another 3-pointer to tie the game at 70.
Davenport’s Kelly Dineen scored on a runner for a 72-70 lead with 56 seconds left, setting the stage for Heinzler’s game-winning 3-pointer.
Law finished with nine points for Davenport, and in the process, set the school record for 3-pointers in a season with 89.
Grand Haven’s Alex Merz, a senior, also plays for Davenport, although she did not see the floor in Monday’s contest.