"This was a big win for us. Alverno had momentum going in overtime and give Holy Family credit for coming back."
The Gaels, who completed the two-game season series sweep against the Jaguars, appeared on the verge of a convincing regulation win. However, Holy Family missed two of three free throws in the closing minutes before Alverno's Michelle Lam made a three-pointer as time expired in the fourth quarter.
Needing to regain the momentum it had built through the first three quarters, Holy Family, which is in second place in league behind Bishop Conaty-Loretto, turned to Mata.
The guard didn't disappoint in overtime.
Mata scored on a layup to give the Gaels a 36-34 lead on the Gaels' first possession. She then made a three-pointer on Holy Family's ensuing possession with 3:01 left to make it 39-34. Another layup by Mata with 1:36 left extended the Gaels' lead to 43-34 with 36 seconds remaining.
"We were mad that we had to go into overtime," Mata said. "We had to take the approach that this was our game to win and I was praying that I would have a moment in the game in which I could do something.
"We saw a light at the end. This win can only help us build momentum."
Holy Family led, 24-10, at halftime. However, the Gaels only scored two points in the third quarter, allowing Alverno to chip away at what once appeared to be a promising lead for the Gaels.
"We missed some free throws [in the second half]," said Siy, whose team made two of 10 second-half free-throw attempts. "We came out strong to start the game, but Alverno had more desire and heart in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter.
"We fell asleep. Alex came out in that overtime and came through for us when we needed her to."
Holy Family, which posted a 28-21 road victory against Alverno on Jan. 7, received 10 points, eight rebounds and seven steals from senior guard Gaby Diaz, eight points, 10 rebounds and seven steals from senior forward Elena Lomeli and seven points and seven rebounds from senior forward Jennifer Rodriguez.
Freshman center Erika Winstanley had 12 rebounds for Alverno, which got 12 points from junior guard Vanessa Serrano and 11 points from Lam.