With the outcome of the game in her hands, Jennifer Rosado looked to her teammates for support.
The junior guard then felt a sudden calm.
Rosado hit two free throws with 1.8 seconds remaining as the Lincoln women's basketball team hung on to claim a 56-55 win against Missouri Western in a Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association matchup Wednesday night at Jason Gym.
"I didn't want to feel the pressure of being on the line, so I talked to my teammates before I stepped up to shoot," Rosado said. "They had a lot of confidence in me and it gave me all the confidence I needed - just looking at them and knowing that I was going to knock both of those down."
Lincoln coach Nicole Collier also had faith in Rosado, the team's leading scorer.
"She's our best free-throw shooter, she's at the line more than anybody on our team," Collier said. "If anybody was to be on the free-throw line at that point in time - Rosado being the girl is definitely the icing on the cake for us. She loves those pressure situations; she loves to make those plays."
Rosado led Lincoln (5-19, 2-15) with 14 points, but she wasn't the only one to come up big for the Blue Tigers when it mattered most.
With Lincoln trailing by five, Quiessence Price, predominately known for her post play, knocked down a 3-pointer to cut Lincoln's deficit to 53-51 with 1:51 left to play.
"We do run some sets for her to shoot the 3 and she's very capable of shooting a 3," Collier said. "The play had broken down - she was comfortable, she had space and she shot it. I was very comfortable with it."
Price followed her trey up with a traditional three-point play to give the Blue Tigers a 54-53 advantage with 20.8 seconds remaining.
"It was a great feeling after that - it was a relief," said Price, who finished with 12 points. "I was really disappointed in myself because I got in foul trouble early. I felt like I needed to step up and be a leader for the team."
Missouri Southern (9-13, 4-11) wasn't done fighting.
Tiffanie Abrams got a jumper to fall in traffic to give the Griffons a 55-54 lead with 4.8 seconds left.
"I thought we had them flustered, I thought they were dead in the water," Collier said. "It was one of those things where we were switching everything. Abrams just curled off (the screen) and made a pretty tough shot."
Rosado quickly took the ensuing inbounds pass and was fouled just beyond half-court to set up the game-winning free throws.
"Honestly, after they made it I thought, the clock's running down, just get the ball and push it - just push it out and see what I can get," Rosado said.
The fast-pace finish was the opposite of how the game started. Both teams were slow out of the gate, and with the score tied at 2 with 14:50 left in the first half, that might be an understatement.
"I felt like the first half, with their press, I felt like there were points where we were just flustered," Collier said. "With the press, we had to take whatever was available."
Lincoln missed its lone shot from the field and committed six turnovers, while Missouri Western was just 1-for-8 and committed three turnovers in the first five minutes of the game.
Lincoln started to pick up some momentum when Hunter Yoakum capped a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer to give the Blue Tigers a 9-2 lead with 12:21 remaining before the half.
The Griffons, who are ranked second in the MIAA in scoring defense, answered back with a 10-0 run and forced five Lincoln turnovers in a three-minute span to take a three-point lead.
Missouri Western maintained control until Jaleisha Barrett hit four consecutive free throws to tie the game at 18 with 4:03 left in the half, but the Griffons were able to take a 21-20 advantage into the second half.
"I felt like the first half, we didn't control the game, we didn't slow down, we didn't organize the team," Collier said. "In the second half, I thought we did a much better job of controlling it."
Lincoln, which ended a three-game losing streak, will play Saturday at Lindenwood.
The Blue Tigers hope the momentum will follow them.
"Everything today felt really good before the game - everything looked right," Rosado said. "There was good chemistry with everybody, it just felt right - today just felt right."