Brunswick, Ga. – A tough season got tougher Thursday night for the College of Coastal Georgia women's basketball team which lost 80-79 in double-overtime against Brewton-Parker at Howard Coffin Gym.
The loss could prove costly for the Mariners (6-20 overall, 3-14 Southern States Athletic Conference) in the end as they will be among several teams battling for one of the final spots in the upcoming league tournament going into the season's final week next week.
With three games left on the regular-season schedule, the Mariners are currently tied for last in the league standings with Middle Georgia which visits Brunswick next Thursday. Both teams have three league wins and the last-place team after the regular season does not qualify for the conference tournament.
Brewton-Parker (9-13, 6-11), meanwhile, took a step in the right direction going into the final week with its second victory this season over Coastal Georgia.
The Barons appeared headed to an easier victory as they held a 65-54 lead with 3:51 left in the fourth period. The visitors still led by nine a minute later, but that's when the Mariners made their run to force overtime.
The Barons would go up 67-64 on two free throw with 32 seconds left, but again Palo answered for the Mariners with another trey in the closing seconds coming out of a timeout to tie the score at 67-67.
Brewton-Parker got off a long three that was off the mark as time expired in regulation.
In the first extra session, the Barons led by as much as four early, but Coastal Georgia took a 73-71 lead on a three-point play by Layfield with 1:24 to go.
The Barons, though, would tie the score on their next trip, and with both teams failing to score in the final minute, the game headed into another extra frame.
In the second OT, the Mariners went up 79-75 on a bucket by Hannah Riley with 1:37 to go, but Naomi Wilds would drill a triple on Brewton-Parker's next offensive drip to pull the visitors within 79-78.
Coastal Georgia would have two more chances to pad its lead, but when the Mariners didn't, they paid for it.
The Barons would break their hearts when Joy Hadley scored on a putback with just under 10 seconds to go to give the visitors their 80-79 lead.
The Mariners raced the ball into the frontcourt, but misfired on a three-pointer and another two-point attempt before the final buzzer, thus suffering a bitter defeat.
Four players finished in twin figures for the Barons who got a game-high 22 points from Hadley.
The Mariners had five players score in double digits in the loss. Ashlee Francis led the way with 18 points which all came in the first half. She finished with 14 rebounds for a double-double after having 10 boards at the halftime break.
The Mariners go on the road Monday to play Faulkner in Montgomery, Ala.