Another incredible comeback at DeVos Fieldhouse against one of the best teams in the nation. Another amazing, buzzer-beating basket off an inbounds pass at the end of the regulation. Another overtime game in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament.
Most important, another MIAA Tournament title and NCAA Tournament bid for the Hope College women's basketball team.
The fifth-ranked Flying Dutch packed in a lot during a 68-62 overtime victory against sixth-ranked Trine Saturday night that clinched a spot in the NCAA Tournament field that will be announced on Monday at 2:30 p.m. on ncaa.com.
Hope (26-1 overall) avenged its only loss of the season — 58-55 on January 27 that DeVos Fieldhouse — that saw the Flying Dutch nearly wipe out a 13-point deficit with four minutes remaining. The defeat forced Hope to share the regular-season title with the Thunder.
The Flying Dutch outscored Trine 8-2 during the extra five minutes of play in the MIAA Tournament's first overtime championship game.
"It's really amazing. We worked so hard for this," senior guard Madison Geers of Scottville, Michigan (Mason County Central HS), said after her team's second overtime game in as many days. Hope beat Calvin 63-58 in overtime in Friday's semifinals.
"We earned it," Geers said. "Every single player on this team, we pushed each other. We compete every day. We've earned this."
Four free throws and one jumper from Geers helped Hope pull away in overtime.
Geers finished with 13 points, including two on a buzzer-beating layup at the end of regulation that evened the score at 60-60. She caught an inbounds pass 25-foot pass from freshman guard Lauren Newman of Flushing, Michigan (Flushing) and laid it in. Hope only 1.4 seconds left on the clock following a timeout to move up the ball from the baseline.
Junior forward Francesca Buchanan of Grant, Michigan (Sparta) had Hope's other overtime basket. She totaled a game-high 21 points — 19 of which came after halftime — and 11 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season.
"It's an insane feeling. I'm extremely proud of our team," Buchanan said. "So excited to be wearing these t-shirts and cutting down this net."
Freshman Kenedy Schoonveld of Zeeland, Michigan (Holland Christian) totaled 18 points.
The Flying Dutch rallied from a 20-6 deficit to start the game and a 23-10 deficit after the first quarter.
Hope held Trine (24-3) to four third-quarter points to take a 39-38 lead into the fourth quarter.
On January 27, the Flying Dutch nearly overcame a 28-14 halftime deficit to Trine before suffering a rare home loss.
Head coach Brian Morehouse was so proud of his resilient group of players.
"I thought we were a half-step off defensively to start the game," Morehouse said. "I thought for about seven or eight minutes in the first half, we caught our stride defensively and offensively. We went in (at halftime) and we said, 'Let's not focus on the 13 or 12 minutes that didn't go well. What did we do well? Let's build on that.'
"We came out in the second half, back and forth, caught our stride defensively."