The Booneville Lady Bearcats trailed Mansfield by 22 with 7:44 to play Monday night. By the 2:48 mark the deficit was just six.
The Lady Bearcats again cut the Lady Tiger lead to six in the final minute but were unable to complete the comeback in a 60-52 loss.
Fueling the comeback was a defense that made five steals – two each by Lexi Franklin and Layla Byrum – and timely scoring from Linley Garrett (shown), who scored six of her eight points in the fourth quarter.
It was a basket by Leigh Swint that made it 55-49 with 2:48 remaining in the game but the only remaining points came on a 3 by Carah Miller to make it 58-52 with 49 seconds to go.
For Swint that gave her a team-high 13 on the night. For Miller it was her third 3 of the night.
Miller had scored the first six points of the game for the Lady Bearcats with two long range shots.
Swint hit two more 3s in the opening quarter and with a Karmen Kent bucket the Lady Bearcats had opened a 14-6 lead.
Garrett’s first points of the night restored an eight point lead at 16-8 but Mansfield closed to within 16-13 by the end of the quarter.
A Roni Tillery 3 made it 19-15 with 7:02 left in the first half and Mansfield then went on a 16-0 run.
Mansfield led 36-23 at the intermission but the Lady Bearcats were within 10 at 40-30 with 4:24 left in the third quarter with a combined five third quarter steals from Byrum.
That provided a preview of the final quarter but the only point the rest of the third quarter came on a free throw by Angie Brown and the Lady Tigers built a 51-31 lead.
Mansfield scored first in the final quarter to lead by 22 before the Lady Bearcats started slicing into the lead.
The Lady Bearcats next game is at Lamar at 6 p.m. Thursday.