Lynchburg, Va. -- The defense scrambled to cover open shooters.
When the ball got in the paint, help was there to challenge the shot.
And in the waning minutes of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference women's basketball championship, University of Lynchburg's women's basketball team kept it all together.
The second-seeded Hornets held visiting Roanoke College to just three points in the final 3 minutes Thursday to secure a 67-61 victory that cinched Lynchburg's second-ever ODAC title.
"We just stayed together," interim head coach Katie Crump said. "It just took everybody. This team, once we're feeling good and we're on a roll, there's no stopping us."
Lynchburg (11-1) opened the game on a 7-0 run and led 14-6 midway through the first period, but Roanoke battled back to take a 17-15 lead, the Maroons' first of the game, with 7:55 to go in the second.
From then on, it was a dogfight. Lynchburg tied the game at 17 on Erin Green's layup, but Roanoke's Rose Sande hit back-to-back 3s, followed by a pair of buckets from JaBryah Haverkamp to make it a 10-point Maroon lead with 5:19 before halftime.
The Hornets then uncorked a 12-0 run and made use of a three-point play from Brooke Vetter to lead 32-30 at the half.
Neither team led by more than two possessions in the third as the fourth quarter began with the score tied at 50. Lynchburg scored the first five points of the fourth, but RC (10-3) rallied for a 58-57 lead on Morgan Micallef's free throws with 3:15 to play.
After that, Lynchburg finished the job. Davis drew a foul with 3:05 left to play and converted both free throws, and after a stop, Quarles took a Davis' feed and converted to extend the lead to three. Quarles made another basket the Hornets' next time down before Sande's 3-pointer cut the Hornets' lead back to two, 63-61.
Lynchburg kept the Maroons off the board with three big defensive stops in the final minute and did just enough at the free throw line to hang on for the win.
After dropping their season-opener, the Hornets ended the season on an 11-game win streak.
The title is Lynchburg's second as a program and first since 2016. Crump, a 2012 Lynchburg grad and then an assistant coach at Berry College, was in the stands to watch her alma mater make history then.
To play a part in the next title story meant the world to her.
"It's pretty amazing. It just means the most as an alum," Crump said.
And the Hornets -- after the ODAC tournament format was shifted to home sites due to COVID-19 precautions -- were able to do it on their home floor.
"To cut a net down in Turner Gym, where you see the sun rise and set throughout the year," the coach said, "it just feels phenomenal."
The program's history wasn't lost on Crump, either. She took the reins in the fall semester after longtime coach and fellow Hornet alumna Abby Pyzik Smith made the decision to step away from coaching.
"Without Abby Pyzik Smith, our program is not where we are right now. Everything she's done for this program and this community."
Davis was named the tournament's most outstanding player, and Quarles, the team's lone four-year player, joined her on the all-tournament team.
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