Kotas and the Spartans Survive Beavers After Free Throw Bonanza

Jan 17, 2015


STORM LAKE, Iowa – Senior Jenna Kotas canned 13 of 14 free throws and the University of Dubuque women’s basketball team’s 35 free throw makes propelled them to an 82-73 overtime road win over Buena Vista on Saturday afternoon.

The Spartans’ Kotas put on a free throw shooting clinic after scoring a season-high 27 points in addition to her 12 rebounds. It was her fourth-straight 20-point game and eighth overall. Fellow starter Kayla Springer lended a helping hand of her own after finishing 7-for-7 at the charity stripe in her first double-double, 15 points and 12 rebounds, of the year. Springer also had three blocks.

With 10 minutes remaining in regulation, it was anybody’s game as the Spartans (9-6, 3-1 Iowa Conference) lead never grew to more than five. With Buena Vista (5-10, 0-4 Iowa Conference) clinging to a one-point advantage with 5:10 remaining, Kotas stepped up and knocked down a pair of free throws to push UD’s lead to one. UD maintained the advantage until a Beaver game-tying layup, set up by an offensive rebound off a missed free throw, sent the game to overtime. The Spartans mustered nine points in the final 5:10, seven of those coming off free throws.

A nine-point run that included six free throws, broke open a 73-73 tie with 2:30 left in OT to seal the deal for the Spartans and provide the final margin of victory.

The Beavers committed 30 fouls on the night that led to a season-high 49 free throw attempts for the Spartans. Buena Vista converted 18 of their 25 attempts as free throws helped maintain both offenses after both teams shot less than 33% from the floor and turned the ball over 20 times.

Backup arrived as Emily Brinker totaled seven points and seven boards off the bench in her return from an injury that sidelined her for the past two games.

It was UD’s third win in the last four games against the Beavers and avenged a 59-63 loss from a year ago.

The Spartans suit up to face rival Loras (9-6, 3-1) at home on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. Loras defeated Central 72-65 on Saturday afternoon.