CANYON, TX (KFSM) - Sydney Franklin scored 12 points, including two critical free throws in the final second as the UA-Fort Smith Lady Lions notched a win in their first ever NCAA tournament appearance.
No. 5 seeded UAFS led for most of the game, including the entire second half, as they knocked off No. 4 seed Colorado-Mesa 68-68.
UAFS will face No. 1 seed and host West Texas A&M Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
It will be the third meeting between the two teams in as many seasons. The Lady Buffs beat the Lady Lions 73-57 in the second game of the 2012 Lady Buffs Christmas Classic and beat the Lady Lions 85-70 in the second game of the 2013 Lady Lions Classic at the Stubblefield Center.
Colorado-Mesa had an opportunity to tie the game with four seconds left. Sophomore guard Erin Reichle was fouled by UAFS junior guard Brittany Holbert and made the first shot of the two-shot free-throw attempt.
Reichle missed the second free throw, and junior forward Jasmine Brainard grabbed the rebound for UAFS. Brainard pass the ball to Franklin, who was fouled with one second left. Franklin, who was 3-for-4 shooting at the free-throw line prior to her final two attempts, made both with ease to cap the win.
Franklin led the Lady Lions in scoring while Skai Thompson added 11 points while Angi Ramey added 10. Reichle led the Lady Mavericks with 14 points.
- UAFS Sports Information contributed to this post