By Tyler Hofmann-Reardon
In the past week, the Roanoke Women’s Basketball team played in two intense contests, one against non-conference rival Salem and one against ODAC competitor Shenandoah. The Maroons entered the first game against Salem with an overall record of 6-11 while Salem entered with a 3-10 overall record. Despite Roanoke’s clear advantage in the record books, Salem was determined to stop the Maroons at all costs. Even after the Maroons jumped out to an early lead, culminating at 33-21, Salem never got too far behind and, with only a minute left in the first half, the spirits put together a 7-0 run to cut into Roanoke’s lead. The first half ended with a major momentum swing with Roanoke barely holding a five-point lead, 33-28.
The second half began with a fouling spree by Salem, putting the Maroons at the line where they managed to score 12 points in just ten minutes. Once again, Roanoke’s lead did not last long, as Salem proceeded to break out for a 5-0 run. Despite the constant momentum swings, the Maroons managed to hold a lead until the final seconds of regulation when Salem hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 64, sending this intense game into overtime.
Scoring was scarce in the first overtime period, with both teams scoring a basket early and then locking each other down on defense for long stretches. With 2:30 left to play, Bridget Holleran finished a layup to give the Maroons a two point lead. Thanks to stellar defense by the Maroons, the lead held until there were just 30 seconds left in OT. However, Salem managed to hit a jumpshot to tie the game. Then, with one last chance to take the lead, Cary Beahm launched a jumper, missed, but the rebound was collected by Marika Beckwith. The ball was then popped loose and the Maroons ended up fouling Salem to give them a chance to win the game the line. Fortunately, the Salem shooter missed the free throw and the game was pushed to its second overtime period.
The second overtime period was much more eventful than the first. A majority of the period consisted of both teams scoring at a high rate and not allowing either to gain much of a lead. Coming into the final minute of play, the Maroons held just a one-point lead. With Salem forced to foul, Cary Beahm made the most of her opportunities at the line and sank four free throws on her way to securing Roanoke’s 82-77 win over Salem.
Beahm notched an astounding 33 points in the double overtime contest, just one shy from tying the Roanoke school record. Her scoring outburst also mover her up to first in the ODAC in points scored with 329 and second in points per game with 18.3. Along with her 33 points, Beahm had an impressive day on the board as well, pulling in 11 on her way to a double-double. Anna Carter complemented Beahm’s double-double with one of her own on 16 points and 15 boards. Bridget Holleran also turned in a career night for the Maroons, scoring 19 points and pulling in eight rebounds.
Coming off the intense win, the Maroons focused for their next matchup against Shenandoah. Coming into the game, both teams had near identical records with the Maroons sitting at 7-11 (3-6 in the ODAC) and the Hornets at 6-12 (2-7 in the ODAC).
As expected, these two evenly matched teams put on a show. Roanoke jumped out to an early lead but was soon matched shot for shot by the Hornets. With about one minute left in the first half, the Hornets tied the game at 21 apiece and proceeded to take the lead just before the buzzer, giving them a 23-22 advantage heading into the locker room. The Maroons were subjected to a 9-0 run by the Hornets to start the first half, but Beahm and co. worked to cut the deficit until they were able to retake the lead at the 13 minute mark. The teams then traded baskets for a few minutes until Beah managed to knock down a jumper to give the Maroons a four point lead with 8 minutes to go. Shenandoah then proceeded to string together two consecutive runs that the Maroons never quite recovered from. However, with a minute left in regulation, Roanoke had cut the Hornet lead to two, but were unable to secure a lead in the final seconds of the contest. The final score was 57-51 with Roanoke falling to Salem for the team’s third ODAC loss.
Beahm led the Maroons in scoring for the eleventh consecutive game with 18 points and she was followed by Meghan Gadell with 12. The Maroons next play on Saturday at home against Bridgewater College in what already looks to be an incredible ODAC matchup.