SIOUX CITY – Hanah Barnard wasn’t ready for her collegiate basketball career to be over.
The former high school standout from Beatrice, Nebraska willed the Doane Tigers back from a big deficit in advancing in the GPAC Postseason Tournament for the first time in her four-year college career.
Barnard scored 11 of her game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter as Doane rallied from a 13-point deficit (62-49) entering the frame to shock 10th-ranked Morningside, 76-75 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday evening at Rosen Verdoorn Sports Center.
“This is definitely a great feeling,” said Barnard. “It’s the first time we’ve been to the second round in the GPAC tournament since I’ve been here.
“It’s a great feeling.”
The 5-foot-7 Barnard, the GPAC scoring leader at 20.4 points per game, eclipsed the 30-point plateau for the fifth time this season and went over 1,700 career points in the contest.
Trailing by 16 at halftime and by as many as 23 in the third quarter (51-28, 7:39 to play), Doane outscored the Mustangs 49-24 the rest of the way.
“At halftime coach (18-year veteran Tracee Fairbanks) just said it’s now or never,” said Barnard, a second-team All-GPAC choice as a junior. “She basically just put it on us seniors to play hard. It’s just the fight that we have had all year, we didn’t have it to start the game. Second half we came out with nothing to lose.”
Doane, shooting 19 of 30, outscored the hosts 54-36 in the second half.
“They just played with tons more energy than us in the second half,” said Morningside coach Jamie Sale. “It’s disappointing when you only give up 24 points one half and 54 the next.
“Credit to Doane they did a great job and its disappointing for us that we just stopped playing defense and did all the things that we could possibly do to lose.”
It was still a five-point game (68-63) midway through the fourth quarter before McKenna Dodd, who had 21 points, hit a 3-pointer to spark one final Doane surge.
Barnard scored the next eight points for the Tigers, giving them their first lead of the second half at 74-73 with 2:52 to play.
Lexi Ackerman and Jordyn Moser hit 1 of 2 free throws each to restore a one-point Morningside lead at 75-74 with 1:50 to play.
Both teams misfired on the next possession before Doane worked the ball inside to Allie Satterly who laid in the basket that was the eventual game-winner with 26.9 seconds left.
Trailing by one, Morningside got a long 3-point attempt from Taylor Bahensky that was tracked down by Barnard who was fouled.
Barnard hit 1 of 2 free throws with 1.1 seconds left and Morningside, inbounding the ball in front of its own bench with 0.8 seconds left tried to find Lauren Lehmkuhl underneath the basket but her shot never got above the rim.
Ackerman, one of two seniors playing along with Bahensky playing their final home game at Allee Gym lead the Mustangs (23-8) with 19 points and eight rebounds.
Lehmkuhl had 18 points and Madison Braun 13 for a team that dropped four of its eight contests this season at home.
While Doane (16-15) will travel to Mitchell on Saturday to face Dakota Wesleyan in the semifinals, Morningside must regroup before it plays in the NAIA National Championships at the Tyson Center March 8-14.
“We have plenty of time to work on things,” said Sale. “We have to figure out what our schedule is going to be because we have never lost in the (GPAC) first round before.
“I think we still have a good team but we're going to have to figure out how to stay more consistent, after 30 games we still haven’t figure it out were going to have to hurry up and do it.”