Strong end to year for Richards

Zoe Richards
Zoe Richards
A buzzer-beater and a last-second match winner made for an exciting end to 2017 for Zoe Richards.

The Otago basketballer, playing for Eckerd College in Florida, hit a half-court shot on the buzzer at halftime to tie the game against Rollins College. However, she went on to better that.

In the final second of overtime she received a pass and scored under the basket to claim a 75-74 win.

She had been thrilled with the shot, although had not realised it was the match-winner until afterwards.

"I just knew we needed to score a basket, but I didn’t realise that my score was going to win the game," she said.

It came off the back of a huge performance, as she scored a season-high 26 points on 11-of-12 shooting.

"It was a really big game for us, because Rollins are a really high-ranked team. That’s one of our rivalry teams.

"I just got hot in the post, I guess. They kept feeding it into me in the post.

"The girl that was defending me, she usually gets heaps of blocks, but she was not blocking my shot.

"So my shots were dropping.‘‘I was feeling good about it; it was going well."

While her team lost its most recent game, Richards continued her good form with a 10-point, nine-rebound performance.

The team finds itself 22nd in the NCAA division two national rankings — a highly impressive standing.

She was not too concerned with the ranking, though.

All the teams in her conference were strong and capable of beating each other so it was a case of not looking too far ahead.

Eckerd is leading the Sunshine State Conference, with a conference record of 5-2 and overall record of 11-3.

She is enjoying her time at the university, having transferred there for her second year of college from Gillette College in Wyoming this season.

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