For most of Saturday afternoon, Hamline's women's BB team seemed poised to score a major victory. But Bethel's Taylor Sheley lived up to advance billing as a clutch shooter and hit key free throws down the stretch to send the Pipers to an agonizing 60-68 defeat.
HU played superb first half defense, holding the Royals to just 15 per cent from the field en route to a 27-18 lead. Jordan Sammons fired in 13 of her team high 18 points and Veronika Jakubovie added six of her career high nine rebounds to help show the way. Sheley, the league's number two scorer at 18.8 per game, managed just two baskets all half.
But you knew a team like Bethel had a run in them. it came at the start of the second half. In a matter of seven minutes, HU's lead had been chopped to a single point, 34-33. The Piper swept back into gear and scored nine in a row to make it 43-33 with 9:08 left in the game. They still led by 10 with 4:51 left but the Royals went on a 14-3 lead to take the lead for good with 1:03 left. Sheley, who finished with 24 points, did the rest, going 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
In addition to Sammons (who also had eight rebounds), Kara Poirier scored 11 points for the Pipers.
Despite tying their season high with 38 rebounds, Hamline fell to 4-9 overall, 3-7 in the MIAC.
They have little time to catch their breath. HU heads out on the road Monday for a game at St. Mary's. They return home to face Gustavus Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Macalester visits next Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. game.