“I thought we had a run in us,” Ruff said. “Our team has a lot of heart. We’ll push ourselves to the end. I was like, ‘Let’s go girls.’ I thought we picked it up and we tied the score. I’m really proud of us.”
Alexia Patterson, who harassed Ruff for most of the second half in UND’s triangle-and-2 defense, went 1-for-2 from the line with 50.7 seconds, giving the Jugglers a 45-44 lead.
That set up a sequence that best describes Ruff’s competitive nature.
It started when Ruff thew a cross-court pass that Harris intercepted. Harris then raced down the floor, but Ruff followed closely. Ruff then timed her jump perfectly and blocked Harris’ layup attempt. Ruff secured the deflection and was fouled by Harris.
Ruff went to the line for a 1-and-1 with 39.8 seconds and a chance to give the Yellowjackets the lead. But her free throw went off the right iron and OHS fouled Durr with 37.6 seconds left. Durr hit both shots for a 47-44 lead.
Oneonta’s next possession ended when Herrick was called for traveling.
Durr went back to the line with 22.9 seconds left and made 1 of 2 for a four-point lead.
Ruff’s deep three-point attempt with 15 seconds left fell way short and Durr’s free throw with 13.7 seconds to go all but ended it.
“We know Oneonta is a great team and we knew they were going to fight back,” said Durr, who had a long embrace with Ruff as the teams shook hands following the game. “With a player like Mariah Ruff, you knew they were going to make a run. She had a tremendous game. We were teammates in AAU and I wish her the best of luck. She’s the best player I’ve played against.”