The Centre College women dropped their first game of the year Tuesday, falling to No. 17 Thomas More 80-79 in overtime at Alumni Gymnasium.
Tied at 69 after regulation after a 3-pointer by the Saints’ Allison Long, Centre (3-1) went up 75-72 after two free throws from Chelsea Benham with 2:48 to go.
Thomas More (1-0)¿led 77-75, then Benham tied the game on a layup with 55 seconds left and Hartlage’s layup put Centre with 16 seconds remaining.
Katie Kitchen, who scored 39 points and went 16 for 18 at the line, converted a three-point play to make it 80-79, and Benham’s shot from the right side at the buzzer was long.
“The kids played extremely well, and we played a lot of the game without Maggie Prewitt,”¿Centre coach Wendie Austin-Robinson.
Prewitt was plagued by foul trouble most of the night and picked up her fifth foul with 28 seconds to go. She finished with five points, nine assists and six turnovers in 28 minutes.
“I’m proud of the kids the way they competed against a very good team without our floor leader out there most of the night,”¿Austin-Robinson said. “We had some great effort by Paige Baechle and Chelsea Benham.”
Baechle scored 22 points, while Benham had 19 points.
Thomas More scored the first six points of the game, only to see Centre answer the next eight, and neither team would lead by more than five before the Saints took a 32-30 lead to the half. In the second half, Centre went up by 10 points after an 11-3 run with 8:41 to go in regulation, but Thomas More answered with a 12-2 run of its own to tie with 5 minutes to go.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the way before Benham put Centre up 69-66 with a layup and free throw in the closing seconds before Long's desperation shot.