Jessica Harris found herself under the basket, grabbing one of her five offensive rebounds. In a crowd of players, and not even facing the basket, Harris put up a shot and was fouled.
That was impressive enough. But the shot went in. A free throw later, and Tiffin University led Saginaw Valley State, 57-50 with 2:06 to play.
"You just know where the basket's at," Harris said after the Dragons beat the Cardinals, 67-62 in a tough, tough game. "It was mostly luck on that one. I just knew I had to take it up strong and draw the foul."
Harris took over in the final minutes, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds. She also had four blocks and two assists.
The Dragons, who struggled Thursday night in an 84-57 loss to Wayne State, fell behind early. The Cardinals opened the game by making good on six of their first seven shots, grabbing a 12-3 lead.
But TU battled back, taking a 29-27 edge at the half after a driving layup by Mackenzie Storlie in the final seconds.
Tiffin University 67,
Saginaw Valley State 62
Saginaw Valley State (2-3, 1-1): Samantha Zirzow 4-3-11; Emily Wendling 8-2-19; Alex Green 0-0-0; Katelyn Carriere 2-2-7; Kristen Greene 6-0-13; Aysha Boston 4-2-12; Kayla Womack 0-0-0; Paige Wright 0-0-0; Briana Graham 0-0-0. Totals: 24-9-62.
Tiffin University (3-2, 1-1): Jessica Harris 7-4-18; Jillian Adams 1-2-4; Stephanie Kelly 4-6-17; Karli Mast 2-0-5; Melissa Gilliland 3-2-8; Mackenzie Storlie 1-0-2; Mary Kate Campbell 0-0-0; Jordan Fraley 3-0-6; Jessica Farr 2-2-6; Erica Mathis 0-1-1. Totals: 23-17-67.
Halftime: Tiffin, 29-27.
Field goals: Saginaw Valley State 24-64; Tiffin 23-66.
3-point goals: Saginaw Valley State 5-16 (Boston 2, Greene, Carriere, Wendling); Tiffin 4-9 (Kelly 3, Mast)
Foul shots: Saginaw Valley State 9-12; Tiffin 17-21.
Rebounds: Saginaw Valley State 40 (Zirzow 7); Tiffin 47 (Harris 10).
Turnovers: Saginaw Valley State 14; Tiffin 12
Assists: Saginaw Valley State 16 (Greene 4, Carriere 4, Green 4); Tiffin 16 (Mast 6).
"Especially from our game on Thursday, we just needed to come out and prove that wasn't our team," said Stephanie Kelly, who finished with a career best 17 points and hit some key free throws down the stretch.
It wasn't easy. Emily Wendling was an offensive force for the Cardinals, scoring 19 points, most of which were under the basket. Kristen Greene finished with 13 points and six rebounds for SVSU, which simply wouldn't go away.
"I definitely felt that our kids dug in," said TU coach Pam Oswald. "There were times when they could have hung their heads, but it was a battle."
Despite the win, Dragons' guard Karli Mast left the game late in the second half with what looked to be a very serious ankle injury. Mast, a senior, finished with five points and a team-best six assists.
"It's always gonna be hard when a player goes down," Oswald said. "But I felt we came in, and we kept to the charge."
The Dragons were 17 of 21 from the foul line, led by Kelly, who was a perfect 6 of 6.
"Coach puts us through some pressure free throws in practice to, that helps us get some experience," Kelly said.
The Dragons improved to 3-2, 1-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. SVSU fell to 3-2, 1-1.
Harris said it was important for the veteran players to finish strong.
"We know we have to step up," Harris said.