HARRISONBURG, Va.-When the game started, it looked like Lisa Jakubowicz would be as far away from deciding the outcome as possible. When Temple’s game against James Madison University was over, it was Jakubowicz’ free-throw shooting that cost Temple a win.
Jakubowicz made only 3-of-10 from the line, missing two with only 30 seconds left in the game.
At the other end of the floor, James Madison’s Shanna Price made the most of a wide-open look underneath the basket with six seconds left and the Dukes beat Temple 59-57 in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament last Thursday.
If Temple had pulled out a win, Jakubowicz would have been carried off the floor.
Jakubowicz got into early foul trouble, picking up two personals before the two-minute mark. She played only a minute-and-a-half in the first half.
In the second half, James Madison led by 11 with 11:23 left before Jakubowicz made a three-pointer and a lay up to cut the lead to six, 45-39.
Stacey Smalls cut the lead to two with a three with 8:58 left in the game.
Price got the lead back up to five and Allyson Keener kept it moving up to nine, 55-46, with five minutes left in the game.
Nikki Jones made a lay up for Temple to cut the lead to six, 57-51. Jakubowicz added another three-pointer and a free-throw. Along with a Chrissy Cruz lay up, Temple went on a 6-0 run to tie the score at 57 with 1:07 remaining.
But it was Jakubowicz’ five misses from the line in the last three minutes of the game and Temple’s 7-for-23 team free-throw shooting that cost them the game and ended their season.
“I’ve made shots like that before where the crowd is so loud,” Jakobowicz said. “I guess I was just thinking too much.”
“If they knocked down some free throws we were in trouble,” said James Madison coach Bud Childers.
Price hit the game-winning lay-up with only six seconds left. Temple tried to double-team the in-bounder but then didn’t have enough time to match up with Price, according to coach Dawn Staley.
“I was pretty pumped up and ready to go for this game,” Price said. “I was wide open, I just prayed it would go in.”
Smalls drove the length of the court for a tying attempt and went right at the basket. She went up, the crowd took a deep breath, the ball missed the net and the Dukes won.
“We wanted something going towards the basket where we could get some contact,” Staley said. “You do or die with that kind of shot. She did exactly what we asked her to do.”