Before every game, Germaletta Dyson says a prayer. Saturday night, she believed someone was listening.
Charvika Wyche drilled a 14-foot jumper with 39 seconds remaining, and Paine held on for a 39-38 win over Augusta State at Christenberry Fieldhouse. The win snapped Paine's 10-game losing streak to the Lady Jaguars and gave the Lady Lions their first win over Augusta State since the 1991-92 season.
"If it's in His will, we'll win the game," Dyson said. "I knew it was in His will."
The dream season continued for the Lady Lions (7-3), who lead the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, after they dodged two bullets in the final five seconds of the game.
"We just had to play aggressive defensive inside and out," Paine coach Selina Kohn said. "We tried to force them to set up their offense."
After Wyche's jump shot, the Lady Jaguars called a play for sharpshooter Melanie Massey that never materialized. With the shot clock winding down, Ernesia Wideman launched a deep 3-point attempt that missed, and teammate Julie Robbins got the rebound and missed a layup.
Dyson, a senior center, pulled down her 16th rebound of the game and was fouled with 2.9 seconds left. With neither team in the bonus, all Paine needed to do was make a successful inbounds pass to win the game.
Paine guard Tiffany Isaac tossed the ball to Wyche, who dropped the ball. Wideman stole it and had a shot to win, but her layup at the buzzer fell off the rim.
"I think we just got nervous and dropped it," Isaac said. "We just kind of held our breath."
Augusta State coach Greg Wilson was quick to point out that Wideman's miss wasn't the sole reason for the outcome. His team shot 32 percent from the field and committed 24 turnovers.
"We lost the game well before she missed that shot," Wilson said. "We didn't out-rebound them. We didn't stop their dribble. We weren't talking on defense. I was disappointed with our effort."
Augusta State (6-3) took its first lead of the game on a Sabrina Jones layup with 3:46 to play. From there, the lead switched hands five times.
The lone bright spot for Augusta State was the play of Jones, a senior forward. Jones went 10-for-10 from the field for a game-high 22.
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 114.