Every second counts.
Ask the St. Ambrose women’s basketball team.
The 3-pointer Colleen Grady banked in from beyond 30 feet to beat the halftime buzzer in a 13-point game proved to be the difference Saturday as the Queen Bees rallied for a 64-62 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over Trinity Christian at Lee Lohman Arena.
Grady launched her first 3-point try of the season after officials added four-tenths of a second to the clock following a Trinity Christian turnover, giving St. Ambrose one-half of a second to work with and gain some valuable momentum.
Charlotte Flynn’s inbounds pass from the backcourt arrived just in time for Grady to turn and launch a shot that pulled the Queen Bees within a 39-29 score at the break.
"That shot got us going," said Reeann McCarty, who finished off a 17-point, 11-rebound performance when she scored what proved to be game-winning points on a baseline drive with 1 minute, 45 seconds remaining.
It wasn’t the first nearly half-court shot Grady had hit Saturday.
Coach Krista Van Hauen said the sophomore hit one from a similar distance during a shoot-around earlier in the day.
"Football can be a game of inches, and basketball, sometimes this can be a game of seconds. Colleen made the most of the half-second we had left to go in down 10 at the half," Van Hauen said. "It was a big shot. Colleen’s been playing well for us, and that basket energized everybody."
St. Ambrose, which trailed by 14 points on two occasions during the opening half, played that way in the second half.
The Queen Bees coupled a defense that held the Trolls without a point over the final 5:25 with a 43-18 advantage on the boards and a 62.5-percent touch from the field in the final two quarters to secure the victory.
St. Ambrose connected on 15-of-24 shots after halftime, using nine second-half points as part of 14-point game by Moline’s Hailey Cook and a critical 3-pointer by another former Maroon, Hannah Ford, to pull within 51-46 after three quarters.
A jumper by Grady with 4:25 remaining pulled the Queen Bees within 62-60, allowing Madi Epperson to tie the game with a basket with 3:49 to go.
The teams traded turnovers before McCarty found room to drive the baseline for her game-deciding lay-in for St. Ambrose (4-8, 3-3 CCAC).
"It was good to come back in the second half and play the way we did to come back and get the win," McCarty said. "We stepped up and played defense the way we needed to down the stretch to give ourselves a chance. We held on and got the win we needed."
Celina Wanta led Trinity Christian (5-6, 3-3) with 17 points.