Heading into Friday's key Cascade Conference tilt against Southern Oregon, Corban head coach Terry Williams wasn't sure whether or not his team's leading scorer would even be able to play, let alone contribute.
Katie Steigleman contributed all right — 40 minutes, a near double-double and the key shot in overtime that finally put the Warriors over the top.
"Katie Steigleman's just a clutch player," Williams said, "and she kind of gutted it out and said, 'Coach, I'll do it.'"
Steigleman had 15 points and nine rebounds and nailed a deep 3-pointer with 1:08 to go in the extra session, and Corban held off a furious rally by Southern Oregon in the final 20 seconds to pull out a 92-89 victory Friday night at McNeal Pavilion.
Whitney Scott and RaTanya Newsome hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut Corban's seven-point lead to one with 14 seconds left, but Emily Tsugawa drained two free throws and Scott's off-balance 3 missed badly just before the final buzzer.
The win gave the Warriors (13-9, 8-4) a sweep in the season series and moved them up one spot to third in the league standings with six games to go. The Raiders (13-11, 6-6) fell one spot to sixth place, a half-game behind Warner Pacific and a game ahead of Eastern Oregon.
Southern Oregon hosts Northwest Christian (9-13, 5-7) tonight at 5:30.
"Learn from it and move on, that's the only thing you can do," Scott said. "Hopefully we'll have a little fire in our eyes (tonight) and get a win."
Tess Bennett hit 11 of 16 shots, most of them short jumpers, to lead Corban with 28 points, and also added seven rebounds and three assists. Tsugawa added 22 points, including four free throws in the final 30 seconds.
SOU sophomore forward Alexi Smith hit 9 of 11 shots and scored 21 points, including a 6-for-6, 12-point effort in the second half, when the Raiders fought back from an 11-point deficit to force overtime.
Newsome, a freshman point guard, had easily her best game as a Raider with 17 points and Scott and Jamie Roupp added 14 and 11 points, respectively.
The Raiders were in excellent position to win the game in regulation when Krystal Smith muscled in a shot while being fouled with 22 seconds to go. But the senior forward missed the free throw, and Jennesa Miller scored inside on a perfectly-executed inbounds play with six seconds to go.
Scott's desperation 15-footer at the buzzer hit the side of the backboard and the two teams went to OT tied at 78.
In overtime, neither team led by more than two points until Steigleman's pull-up bomb gave the Warriors the lead for good. The junior forward entered the game averaging 19.4 points per game, good for third in the conference, but nearly was held out with sore knees.
"Absolutely," said Williams, when asked if that was the shot he wanted Steigleman to take. "Big turning point, right there. We depend on her for big shots at big times."
The Warriors nearly ran away with the game early in the second half, using a 9-0 run to push a two-point lead to 11 with 14:26 to go. Steigleman scored five points in the three-minute burst, which included two missed free throws and a blown layup by the Raiders.
Southern Oregon struggled from the free throw line all night, hitting just 16 of 30 attempts. The Warriors made up ground there, making 19 of their 21 freebies.
"If we had got that [made more free throws], it would have been our game, especially at the end of regulation," SOU head coach Lynn Kennedy said. "I liked the energy, we just came up a little short at the end."
For the second game in a row the Raiders played without third-leading scorer Josi McDermott, who is nursing a sore back.
Newsome did her best to make up for the loss with an out-of-the-blue breakout game. Less than a year after suffering a serious knee injury, the 5-foot-3 guard out of Tucson, Ariz., sank 6 of 12 shots, including 2 of 3 treys, in 32 solid minutes. She entered the game averaging 3.2 points in 11.7 minutes per game.
"(Newsome) really hasn't been 100 percent this whole year," Kennedy said, "and I think finally, now she's starting to be the player that we expected her to be."