No. 8 Shenandoah University upset top-seeded Guilford in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament on Friday afternoon, picking up a 52-49 overtime victory at the Salem Civic Center in Salem to earn the program’s first-ever trip to the ODAC tournament semifinals.
The Hornets’ win was the first ever for a No. 8 seed over a No. 1 seed in the history of the tournament, according to a news release from SU.
Shenandoah (14-13) will play the winner of No. 4 Randolph-Macon and No. 5 Virginia Wesleyan at 6 p.m. today.
SU trailed Guilford 41-31 late in the third period on Friday before Ragan Johnson’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer began a Hornet rally. Shenandoah outscored the Quakers 9-2 in the fourth quarter and held Guilford without a bucket for the final 6:12 of regulation. Hornet freshman Sierra St. Cyr’s layup tied the game at 43-all with 1:06 left in the fourth, and that score held for the rest of the period.
Guilford led by 4 points with 1:40 left in overtime before SU rallied again, starting with Jordan Sondrol’s bucket following St. Cyr’s steal with 1:25 to play. After another Quaker turnover, Johnson cut the deficit to one with a free throw, and her blocked shot set up St. Cyr’s driving layup that put SU ahead 50-49. Sondrol sealed the win with two free throws with two seconds remaining after yet another Shenandoah stop.
“We started a little slow, but even when we weren’t scoring, we were getting stops,” SU head coach Melissa Smeltzer-Kraft is quoted in the news release. “We kept them within an arms-length and eventually it turned in our favor.
“We had never beaten Guilford and had never advanced to the semifinals, so I am so proud of the team for its resiliency and toughness. This means so much to break through.”
Johnson led the Hornets with 13 points, and Sondrol and McKenzie Mathis had 11 each.
The victory guaranteed Shenandoah at least a .500 record for the first time in 10 years.