Senior Misha Jackson's jumper at the buzzer snapped a 64-64 tie and gave the No. 20 Emory women's basketball team a dramatic victory over Carnegie Mellon Sunday afternoon. The Eagles raised their overall record to 14-2, 4-1 in the University Athletic Association after registering a 66-64 decision over the hard-charging Tartans who slipped to 10-6 in overall action, 2-3 in the league.
Emory held a 62-51 lead with 2:55 left in the contest following a jumper by Jackson, but 10 straight points by CMU, capped by a layup by Jacquie Shaw, drew the host team to within one point at 62-61 with 13 seconds left on the clock. After a pair of pressure-packed free throws by junior Savannah Morgan with 10 ticks left extended the Eagles' lead to three points, a three-point field goal by CMU's Gabrielle West with three seconds on the clock knotted the game at 64-64. With Emory having the ball at midcourt, Morgan took the inbounds pass and dribbled a couple of times before firing the ball off to Jackson who knocked down the shot a step or two inside the three-point arc as time expired, her 11th and 12th points of the afternoon, stunning the Skibo Gymnasium crowd.
CMU outshot the Eagles, hitting 56.3 percent (27-of-48) of its field goal attempts while Emory finished with a 36.2 percent mark (25-of-69). The Tartans enjoyed an edge in three-point shooting , 46.2 percent (6-of-13) to 30.8 percent (8-of-26), and rebounding, 37-34, but an Emory 17-8 edge in offensive boards combined with a defensive effort that forced 28 CMU turnovers played a key role in helping the Eagles to the win and the best 16-game record in school history.
Junior Savannah Morgan led the team's scoring attack with 18 points, hitting six-of-13 from the floor including three three-point field goals. Morgan also doled out seven assists and came up with three steals. Classmate Hannah Lilly totaled 15 points along with four assists and four steals while junior Selena Castillo scored all 10 of her points during the second half. Senior Danielle Landry topped all players with 11 rebounds, her third double-figure effort of the year. Landry's 11 caroms enabled her to move past Lynn Oberschmidt and into 11th place on the school's all-time rebounding chart with 542.
A pair of three pointers by Castillo, with a Morgan triple sandwiched in between, keyed a 9-0 Emory run early in the second half that gave Emory a 43-33 margin with 15:49 left in the game. The Tartans stayed within striking distance and used back-to-back baskets by Emily Peel to creep to within two points, 49-47, with 9:55 remaining. The Eagles then blitzed the hosts with an 8-0 barrage in just 1:39, capped by a bucket by sophomore O'Dez Oraedu, to claim another 10-point lead, 57-47 with 7:10 remaining. A basket by CMU's Liza Otto with 4:48 remaining cut Emory's margin to seven points, but scores from Jackson and Lilly, boosted the Eagles' cushion to 11 points with 2:55 on the clock, setting the stage for the down-the-stretch drama.
Emory trailed for the majority of the first half of play before closing out the final 4:14 of the stanza on a 13-6 run to take a 34-31 lead at the intermission. Morgan paced the Eagles' scoring over the opening 20 minutes with 11 points, hitting four-of-seven from the floor, while Lilly chipped in 10 points, sinking a pair of three pointers in the final 2:30 of the period. While Emory hit just 36 percent (13-of-36) of its field goal attempts compared to CMU's 50 percent (13-of-26), the Eagles had a 20-17 edge in rebounding, led by Misha Jackson's five boards, 8-2 on the offensive end.
Emory returns to action next Friday (Jan. 25) when it hosts Brandeis.