CLINTON — Madison Wagner went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 18 seconds of the second overtime to seal Ashford's 73-69 win against Rochester (Mich.) on Friday night that put the Saints in tonight's championship game of the Association of Independent Institutions women's basketball tournament.
The Kehl Arena home court was good to the Saints (10-20), who will face top seed Indiana University Northwest in today's 5 p.m. title game.
Jessica Mlachnik forced the first overtime for the Saints when she made a layup with 2 seconds left in regulation, then Jennifer Forge scored with 13 seconds left in the first overtime to knot the score at 63.
"We had a lot of kids step up and make plays," Ashford coach Kelly Kruger said. "Jess at the end of regulation, Forge in both overtimes and Madison hit some big free throws for us. We are excited to be in the game tomorrow."
Janell Anthony opened the second overtime with a basket with 4:44 left to give the Saints a lead they never lost. Quinn Rear pushed the lead to 67-64 with 4:03 left, then neither team scored again until a layup by Ka'ala Ka'aikala brought Rochester within 67-66 with 20 seconds left.
Wagner was fouled 2 seconds later and made a pair of free throws. She was fouled again after stealing the ball and made two more with 13 seconds left. After a 3-pointer by Meagen Heiden (12 points) cut the lead to 71-69, Wagner made two more free throws with 4 seconds left to clinch it.
Wagner scored a team-high 18 points for the Saints. Elizabeth Nardi added 12, Forge had 11, and Rear and Sarah Vozel added 10 each for Ashford. Forge (12 rebounds) and Wagner (10) also finished with double-doubles.
"It was a great team effort," Kruger said. "I thought we overcame a lot of adversity with foul trouble.