Lockhart’s last-second layup gives WSU victory in exhibition finale

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Matt Crow

Junior Keke Thompson drives to the net Against Newman. Thompson was one of the top scorers in Saturday’s exhibition.

Wichita State’s women’s basketball performs a “perfection drill” in every practice. The drill’s purpose is to push the tempo, where each player is allowed four dribbles to get a layup down the full length of the court.

Sunday, it came in handy.

As Cameron, the opposing team, was at the free throw line with seven seconds left in Sunday’s game, junior forward Rangie Bessard threw an outlet to junior guard Diamond Lockhart. Lockhart pushed the ball as time was winding down and drove in the game-winning layup with .3 seconds left to give WSU a 67-65 win at Koch Arena in the Shockers’ exhibition finale.

“As soon as Rangie got that rebound, I was just focused on getting from rim to rim,” Lockhart said. “I was either trying to get the foul or get the layup for us.”

Two inside layups from junior forward Angiee Tompkins cut Cameron’s lead to two points in the opening minutes of the first quarter. A deep three-pointer from Cameron’s Catlin Clancy extended the Aggies lead by four, until a slashing layup from junior guard Keke Thompson cut the WSU deficit back 12-10 with 3:34 left in the first quarter.

A pair of free throws by Thompson tied the game for the Shockers and a steal by junior guard Tamara Lee set up the go-ahead basket from Tompkins off the assist from Thompson with two minutes left in the first quarter.

Cameron’s seven threes off 71 percent three-point shooting allowed the Aggies to take the first quarter lead, but a foul with 1.3 seconds left resulted in a pair of free throws by Thompson to cut the lead to two.

“Cameron did a great job of coming out and knocking down some shots,” head coach Jody Adams-Birch said. “They run their offense very efficiently. You can tell that they’ve been running their offense for a long time.”

Thompson tied the game on WSU’s first possession of the second quarter and a free throw from junior Jeliah Preston gave the Shockers the 21-20 lead with 9:23 left in the first half. A basket by Cancy and and-one basket by Brittany Hill gave Cameron a four-point lead.

A three pointer by Lee and an inside layup by junior guard Diamond Lockhart gave the Shockers a 30-27 lead with 4:43 left in the second quarter. Lockhart quickly tied the game back up for the Shockers after Cameron tied it with a basket and a free throw with 20 seconds left in the quarter. Cameron drew a foul with 2.3 seconds left until halftime to knock in a pair of free throws, capping off a 7-2 run to end the second quarter to take a 34-32 lead at halftime.

Lockhart quickly tied the game up with an inside dish to junior forward Rangie Bessard for the score, but a three pointer from Cameron gave the Aggies back the lead 37-34. After another Aggies three pointer, an offensive rebound allowed Tompkins to cut the Cameron lead to one.

Preston’s free throws after a steal gave the Shockers a one-point lead until Cameron answered back with a two-point basket giving the Aggies a 47-46 lead after the third quarter.

Bessard gave the Shockers the lead on their first possession of the fourth quarter, scoring off a turnaround hook shot in the paint. After a Cameron basket, junior Aundra Stovall dribbled into traffic that forced a Shocker turnover.

The Aggies capitalized on the opportunity, with Hill nailing a three pointer to extend Cameron’s lead 52-48 with 7:52 remaining.

A pass from Lockhart set up a post-score from Bessard. Bessard came back on WSU’s next possession to score a layup that tied the game at 52. A three pointer from Lee and a left-handed layup from Williams gave the Shockers a 57-52 lead.

“Our guards did a good job in moving the ball tonight,” Bessard said. “The ball was moving around very well and everything was just in tempo.”

Cameron responded with a putback layup to cut the WSU lead to two, but a spin move by Thompkins gave the Shockers a score to go up 62-58 with 2:12 remaining. The Aggies forced a turnover from Thompson and two baskets from Hill tied the game with 1:20 left to play.

Bessard responded with a basket and free throw after drawing the foul giving WSU a three-point lead with 48 seconds to play. A layup by Cameron cut the Shockers lead to one point with 25 seconds to play and went to the free throw line where they made one and missed one.

Bessard finished the game with a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds. Lockhart finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. Thompson finished with 14 points and seven rebounds while Thompkins scored 13 points off the bench.

“Very proud of this team and how we hung on,” Adams-Birch said. “I was proud of how we continued to play and play together. We took ownerships of plays that were good plays or ones that needed to be corrected.”

WSU begins regular season play at 2:05 p.m. Sunday against Creighton at Koch Arena.