Liggins missed both.
Fortunately for her though she received another chance to make amends.
With a 60-59 lead and a potential game-winning 3-pointer by Portageville's Kaitlyn Nowlin that fell just short a play earlier, Liggins was fouled again. This time she made both with one second remaining to hold of surging Portageville for a 62-59 win on Tuesday night at Portageville High School.
"I was kind of upset," Liggins said about missing her first opportunity to extend their lead. "We could have put the game away if I had made those free throws. But, I made them the next time so that's all that matters."
Liggins, who scored 12 of Sikeston's 17 fourth quarter points and led the Lady Bulldogs with 22 points and 16 rebounds, was 6-for-10 from the free throw line in the decisive last period. As a team, Sikeston was 11-of-20 from the line in the fourth quarter
"Once we got the opportunity to shoot free throws we wanted to take advantage of it," Sikeston head coach Homer Jackson said. "We did a good job of doing that."
Sikeston scored every point from the free throw line with 1:09 left in regulation and with a 56-54 lead. Liggins hit three and Keyonna Blissett hit three as well. Blissett went 2-for-2 with 11 seconds left to give Sikeston a 60-57 advantage. They were 50 percent (6-for-12) throughout the last 1:09.
"They did what they needed to do," Portageville head coach Barry Branscum said about Sikeston. "They played well and they deserved to win."
The game never swayed more than eight points in one particular way. Sikeston held the biggest lead in the second quarter after the second of Blissett's two 3-pointers found its way in to give Sikeston a 26-18 lead. Portageville would pull to within one point right before halftime but a bucket by Liggins as time expired gave Sikeston a 30-27 lead at the half.
"They are very, very competitive," Jackson said about Portageville. "It was tit-for-tat, back-and-forth the whole game."
Sikeston was able to force a few more turnovers in the third quarter than in the previous half. They caused 11 turnovers with their swarming man-to-man defense which would give them as much as a five-point lead in the frame. Portageville ended up tying the game after seven consecutive points from Nowlin made it a 42-42 game with a minute left in the third. A 3-pointer by Darquesha Howard gave the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs a 45-42 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
"We were trying to play hard 'D', pressure the ball and just try to bring home the seventh victory," Liggins said.
Portageville had two prime opportunities to take a late lead or win it on a potential last shot. Their leading scorer, Nowlin, missed a running layup off the right side on the rim with 13 seconds left and her Lady Bulldogs down by one. Moments later, a clear look at a 3-pointer fell short with 2 seconds remaining. Liggins iced the game shortly after.
"Those were just tough shots she missed that we rely on her to hit," said Branscum. "That's not a knock on her at all. She played hard."
Nowlin led Portageville with 26 points but was held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Jackson said that job belonged to senior Tyanne Townsend in the final period.
"We gave that responsibility to Tyanne," Jackson said, "and she said she wanted her. She showed leadership with that kind of response. She's (Nowlin) a very good player and your not going to stop every shot, but we just had to contest her."
Janika McIntyre helped Nowlin out with 17 points and was a force on the boards with 17 rebounds. The rebounding totals ended with a slight edge to Sikeston, 46-45.
Blissett added 16 points, eight steals and seven rebounds to Sikeston's win while Townsend chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds as well.
Sikeston (7-12) is back in action tonight as they travel to Cape Central to take on the Lady Tigers. Portageville (6-14) will go to East Prairie on Thursday night to take on the Lady Eagles.
SIKESTON (62) -- Tyanne Townsend 10, Keyonna Blissett 16, Darquesha Howard 5, Asia Liggins 22, Shaela Draper 2, Tanesha Pulley 6, Jane Ivory 1. FG 23 FT 13-32 F 19. (3-pointers: Blissett 2, Howard 1. Fouled out: none.)
PORTAGEVILLE (59) -- Emily Delisle 3, Katelyn Kellams 2, Kaitlyn Nowlin 26, Janika McIntyre 17, Katelyn Jackson 7, Brooke Johnson 4. FG 22 FT 14-22 F 20. (3-pointers: Nowlin 1. Fouled out: Kellams.)
It was a clean sweep of the Portageville Lady Bulldogs on Tuesday night as the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs junior varsity squad won 35-25 at Portageville High School.