Late free throws lift Menlo women to dramatic hoops victory


Madison Michelis hit one of two free throws with 26 seconds remaining to snap a tie and help lead the Menlo College women's basketball team to a 69-67 victory over visiting Cal Maritime as part of the Peninsula Classic on Wednesday.

Aaliyah Sowards, who finished with 11 points, stole the ball moments later and made one of two free throws for the final margin.

Madison Michelis
The Keelhaulers had a chance to tie in the final second, but the ball hit off the rim.

Breanna Turner had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Oaks (7-8), who overcame an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit to nab the victory.

Emma Briggs added 15 points and Fia Hoskinson had 13 for Menlo, which won its second straight following a four-game skid.

The Oaks return to Golden State Athletic Conference play on Thursday, Jan. 7, traveling to NAIA top-ranked Vanguard. Menlo also plays at Arizona Christian two days later.

Briggs gave Menlo a 40-33 advantage early in the third quarter but the Oaks went cold, missing nine of their next 10 shots and turning the ball over twice, allowing Cal Maritime the opportunity to make a 16-2 run and forge ahead, 49-42, with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.

The Keelhaulers eventually opened a 58-50 edge with 6:17 left to play in the contest. Cal Maritime did not score again for over three minutes and the Oaks took advantage to climb back into the game.

Sowards hit a pair of free throws with 2:41 left to tie it and then sank two more 39 seconds later to put the Oaks ahead.

Cal Maritime fought back to tie it at 67, setting up Michelis and Sowards final foul shots for the win.

The trio of Briggs, Turner and Hoskinson combined to shot nearly 70 percent from the field (16-of-23) and produced nearly 60 percent of Menlo's offensive production.

Both teams turned the ball over 15 times and both turned them into 17 points. They also each had 44 rebounds.

Menlo led, 38-31, at halftime.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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