T'laya Lyvers' buzzer-beating put-back of her own miss in overtime was the difference Wednesday night as No. 19 Henry Clay held off host Lafayette 54-53.
"It was stressful, it was stressful," Lyvers said of the closing seconds.
Lyvers nearly knocked down a three-point shot. When it didn't fall, she knew what to do.
"Just got the ball and put it back in," she said.
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Lafayette, down 42-26 early in the fourth quarter, forced overtime with a 16-0 run.
Kerrigan Davis led Henry Clay (9-2) with 13 points. Lyvers and Destiny Carter scored 11 each.
Lyvers added 14 rebounds as the Blue Devils dominated the backboards 57-37. Hannah Young, who came off the bench to score seven points, added 11 rebounds.
"It just came down to the last possession, and when you've got T'laya Lyvers, what can you say?" Devils Coach Eric Sanford said. "She's a heck of a player. She's always showing up in big games. She's always willing to take the last shot.
"We pulled through with a victory. Couldn't hit a free throw, couldn't hit a layup. We stayed, we persevered and we came out with a victory."
Lafayette (9-6) got a 27-point, 10-rebound effort from Dee Givens. Ashanti Thomas just missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. Kiara Pankins also scored nine.
The Generals nearly won at the foul line, going 19 of 29 to Henry Clay's two of 14.
The teams will meet again Jan. 31 at Henry Clay.
Henry Clay scored the first five points of the game on a Carter three-pointer and an Anovia Byars put-back.
The Devils led 14-8 through one quarter, then turned things up by pressing and trapping whenever possible.
The result was a 9-2 run to open the second quarter, pushing the lead to 23-10.
Lafayette scored the last five points of the half to pull to within 23-15.
The Generals closed the gap to 28-22 during the third quarter before Henry Clay used a 10-0 flurry to pull out to 16.
The margin was still 16, 42-26, before Lafayette scored 16 straight points in the last 5½ minutes of regulation.
A Givens free throw started the rally, and Lataya Winn followed with a three-pointer.
Givens was next with a free throw and a three-pointer.
Pankins added a field goal and two free throws, and Givens put in two more free throws.
Pankins tied the game on a coast-to-coast drive with 19 seconds left.
Lyvers and Byars both had shots for the Blue Devils just ahead of the buzzer, but neither would fall.
In overtime, Givens and Byars traded early baskets. Then, it was Givens and Lyvers matching buckets.
A Kendyl Powell free throw gave Lafayette a 47-46 edge.
Byars drove the baseline for a 48-47 Henry Clay lead with 1:47 left.
Givens, who scored eight in OT, put Lafayette back on top with a runner at 1:22.
Young made one of two free throws with 1:11 left to tie the game at 49.
After a Lafayette turnover, Davis drained a three-pointer with 44 seconds left.
But Givens sank two free throws at :29.9, and Thomas made two at 20.7 for a 53-52 Lafayette lead.
Lyvers took it from there.
Henry Clay 54, Lafayette 53 (OT)
HENRY CLAY (9-2) — Lyvers 11, Byars 8, Carter 11, Davis 13, Green 0, Price 2, Young 7, Jackson 2. Totals 23-79 2-14 54.
LAFAYETTE (9-6) — Givens 27, L. Winn 3, Pankins 9, A. Conwell 2, Powell 3, Thomas 9. Totals 16-44 19-29 53.
Henry Clay 14 9 15 4 12 — 54
Lafayette 8 7 9 18 11 — 53