Kristen Oliphant and Dani Anderson combined for 35 points as the Prairie View Lady Spartans squeaked past Indianola 44-42 Saturday afternoon to claim third place in the MAIS Class 2A North State Tournament.
In a game that was close throughout, Oliphant drained a pair of 3-pointers as the Lady Spartans outscored the Lady Colonels 14-8 in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 44-40, Indianola hit two free throws to close within 44-42 with just under a minute to play.
Regaining possession on a Prairie View turnover, the Lady Colonels inbounded the ball with 13 seconds to play. Indianola missed three potential game-tying shots on its final possession, before Oliphant secured the defensive rebound at the buzzer to clinch the victory.
"We clamped down on them pretty good in the fourth quarter," said Prairie View coach Ed Bain after the Lady Spartans held Indianola to two fourth quarter field goals.
Indianola was up 13-8 at the end of the first quarter — the biggest lead of the afternoon for either team. Prairie View closed within 22-21 at halftime, before the Lady Colonels carried a 34-30 advantage into the final session.
"The game we played the best, we lost," said Bain, whose team went 2-1 at North State, including a 55-50 semifinal setback to Oak Hill. "We had 14 turnovers in the first half Saturday. We only had seven in the second half, but some of them were at crucial times.
"We're just now getting acclimated to the man-to-man defense they play over there. They grab you and don't want to let you go."
Oliphant tossed in 18 points and distributed six assists to top the Lady Spartans' scoring, while Anderson put together a double double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Tori Simmons collected six points, eight rebounds and four steals and Jay Hicks added three points.
For the Lady Colonels, Caroline McDaniel was high scorer with 16 points, followed by Sierra Roberson with nine, Shay Wraggs with seven, Jessica Holmes with six and Patton Bradshaw with four.
Oliphant and Anderson were named to the All-Tournament team.
Prairie View (27-6) now advances to the Class 2A State Tournament in Canton, Miss. As the No. 3 seed from the North, the Lady Spartans are paired against South runner-up Simpson on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
At South State, Simpson, the District 4 runner-up, defeated Brookhaven 47-39, Silliman 43-37 and Columbia 49-38, before losing to Bowling Green 77-58 in the finals.