Yesterday’s date might just be a date to some people, however, to those who love and follow the sport of basketball, they know it is the start of a whirlwind month to come of exciting games. A time when every team is fighting to stay alive.
March Madness is already happening in the Big Ten as Indiana and Michigan State went into QUADRUPLE OVERTIME!
Early in the first half, the Hoosiers were in control, yet the Spartans refused to go away as they continued inching closer to Indiana. The third was much like the first two frames as Michigan State struggled to get over the hump — until the fourth period when the Spartans tied the game at 65-apiece on Shay Colley’s free-throws.
With less than 40 seconds remaining in regulation, Amanda Cahill tipped in an offensive rebound to push Indiana back in the lead by two. But, on the other end, Colley came through big for Michigan State again. Both teams had another shot to win but didn’t, therefore, sending the game into the first overtime.
Taya Reimer scored the first point in overtime for the Spartans, although soon Tyra Buss responded on the opposing end to once again tie the game. Taryn McCutcheon quickly hit another shot for Michigan State, but this time an answer didn’t come from the Hoosiers for another three minutes. In fact, the Spartans even fell into a scoring lull as nobody was able to extend its lead during that time frame.
Thanks to a jumper by Bendu Yeaney, Indiana evened the score — once again — at 78 apiece and then her teammate Kym Royster had Indiana feeling good with a two-point lead with 20 seconds remaining in the first OT.
This time, the hero was Michigan State’s Victoria Gaines who knocked in a jumper with seven seconds left, tie game 80-80.
Victoria Gaines confidently knocks down the game-tying mid-ranger. pic.twitter.com/5o55Ut3fdk— Zachary Swiecicki (@zachswies) March 2, 2018
After a timeout, Indiana had a chance to win the game, yet off the miss, Michigan State raced down the court as Shay Colley put up an off-balance shot which initially looked like it counted, therefore everyone thought the game was over, favoring the Spartans, 82-80.
Hold the phone.
After reviewing the clock — which with a last-second shot is expected — the officials waived off the shot, stating the clock had paused for a brief second.
No shot. Game tied at 80 apiece. Bring on another five minutes of play.
With more adrenaline driving players on both teams, finding the basket wasn’t as difficult this extra period. The Spartans started to pull away, hitting triples while Indiana was making layups. Eventually, the score was yet again the same, inching toward the triple-digit mark. Colley laid in a lay-up with four ticks left on the clock giving Michigan State the advantage.
Yet, given the extra time, Cahill was able to redeem herself after missing what could have been the game-winner in the first overtime, by hitting a critical lay-up as time expired for the Hoosiers...end of the second overtime: Michigan State 91, Indiana 91.
AMANDA CAHILL!!!!!!!— Indiana Women’s Basketball (@IndianaWBB) March 2, 2018
Cahill drives and gets the bucket to fall as time expires! We're headed to the first ever Big Ten Tournament 3 overtime game tied at 91-91!
Fatigue started to settle in — which is understandable playing in a third overtime — but still, neither team was quitting. After all, this is the time of the year where a team might not play another game this year, unlike losing in the middle of conference play, you’ll see the court again.
As you know by now, Michigan State and Indiana were once again at a draw by the end of the third overtime. The extra five minutes came down to late game heroics, first by Colley who went coast to coast off a steal for the Spartans, then Yeaney remained calm and responded for the Hoosiers. Colley had a chance to win in for the green and white, but missed the jumper.
99-99. Overtime number four.
Maybe the start of the final extra quarter was a sign this game would soon be over. Previously, Michigan State had been the first team to score in overtime, yet in the fourth one, Indiana tallied points first on none other than, Yeaney’s two free-throws.
The Spartans didn’t hold a lead until there were just over two minutes remaining on the clock. Back and forth the two teams went never allowing the other to get ahead by more than a possession.
Also unlike the other three overtimes, extra time was forced after game-tying layups — not this time. Playing big the entire game, hitting numerous shots, Cahill confidently stepped to the charity line and knocked in two free-throws, advantage Indiana 111-109 with three seconds on the clock.
One of the positive in the women’s rule change is having a timeout saved for late game situations and being able to advance the ball into the frontcourt. Michigan State had a timeout to use to inbound the ball just above its three-point line. Hoping to get a shot off, Indiana’s defense swarmed the Spartans’ player as soon as she got the ball.
Somehow, another Michigan State player picked up the ball after it was tipped and launched it toward the hoop...no good. Game — finally — over.
Indiana, after a historical quadruple overtime, survived the second round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament. The Hoosiers will advance to play Maryland on Friday at 6:30 pm ET.
Cahill erupted for a whopping 38 points, plus pulled down nine rebounds, dished out six assists, had four steals and four blocks as well.