Every kid dreams about hitting the big shot at the buzzer of the big game.
Practicing out in the driveway, we have all counted off the seconds of that imaginary clock and thrown up a prayer while making that fake buzzer sound.
Most of us never have the opportunity to take that shot, but junior Renee Frericks took full advantage of her chance last weekend in the women’s basketball team’s 87-80 double-overtime victory over conference-rival Drake.
With only 6.6 seconds remaining in the first overtime period, Drake had Amber Wollschlager at the line with a 74-71 lead.
But after Wollschlager missed both of her free-throw attempts, Frericks was able to push the ball up the floor as time wound down, eventually pulling up 25 feet from the basket and dropping a game-tying 3-pointer as time expired, sending the Bradley fans into a frenzy and the game into double overtime.
“I saw my defender step back a little bit, so I just shot it up,” Frericks said. “It was so fun to see the reaction from the bench and the crowd when I watched the tape again. I think that was the best part of it – just to see the energy in the gym and the excitement that our team has right now.”
Frericks went on to hit two more back-to-back 3-pointers in the second overtime period, helping to lock up the win and improve the Braves to 19-6 on the year and move into third-place in the Missouri Valley Conference.
She finished with 17 points in the win after receiving only her second start of the year — replacing Michelle Lund who had been banged-up with a minor injury.
“I had to do what my team needed,” Frericks said about her new role as a starter. “One of the biggest things I bring to the team is 3-point shooting and Drake had left me open a couple times. Especially in the second overtime, they had to start focusing on Monica [Rogers] underneath, which left me open a few times on the wing.”
Frericks said she knew the contest against Drake had the potential to be a special game right from the beginning, when she was able to knock down a long 3-ball to help get things rolling for the Braves.
“One of the goals coach Buscher had for me over the summer was to extend my range a couple feet past the 3-point line,” she said. “So, I’ve become pretty confident in taking that type of shot.”
Frericks 3-point barrage did more than just help the Bradley’s conference record, as the Braves hosted their annual “Pink Zone” game to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.
By receiving pledges for each 3-pointer that was made, the team was able to raise nearly $5,000 for the foundation, the bulk of which was raised after hitting 4-of-5 from behind the arc in the two overtime periods. Coach Buscher was one of the donators, pledging $25 for every trey her team made.
“I was joking with Coach after I made the shot at the buzzer that we weren’t done raising money yet,” Frericks said. “And then we were able to cost her another $75 in that last overtime. But, it’s a great cause to help out and we just wanted to make sure that we made the most of our opportunity and raised some money.”
In addition to her big week on the court, Frericks was also named the Country Financial Scholar-Athlete of the Week. On top of averaging 13.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game last week, she also boasts a 3.91 cumulative grade point average as a mathematics major.