Warriors host rival Falcons on Friday in NAC semifinal
WLC and CUW meet for third time in 2011-2012
February 23, 2012
MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Lutheran College women’s basketball team continues the quest to repeat as Northern Athletics Conference Tournament champions this week with a conference tournament semifinal matchup against rival Concordia Wisconsin on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Recreation Complex. The Warriors, who have home-court advantage throughout the NAC Tournament, advanced to the semifinals after a 74-56 quarterfinal win over eighth-seeded Benedictine on Wednesday.
LIVE COVERAGE: All of Wisconsin Lutheran's NAC Tournament games will be webcast live on wlcsports.com with the pregame show beginning 15 minutes prior to tipoff. Jon Henseler (play-by-play) and Dan Barutha (color analyst) will have the call of all the action courtside. Fans can also follow the action via live stats and live video available for all tournament games. All games, which are archived back to the 2003-2004 season, are accessible to listeners at wlcsports.com.
WISCONSIN LUTHERAN UPDATE: The Warriors enter Friday’s NAC Tournament semifinal matchup with a 22-4 overall record. The 22 wins is the second most in school history behind last season’s team, which won 26 games. WLC went 17-1 in conference play this season and claimed its fourth consecutive NAC division title. Wisconsin Lutheran has won six straight and owns a 15-1 record since the calendar turned to 2012. Rachel Johnson and Shavon Dillon lead a very balanced WLC scoring attack as both players are averaging 11.8 points per game. The Warriors have seven players averaging at least 5.7 points per game and all seven have had a game where they have led the team in scoring.
WLC’S LAST GAME: The Warriors used a strong second half to defeat #8 Benedictine 74-56 in their quarterfinal game on Wednesday. WLC led 39-38 at halftime and the score was tied at 40-40 with 18 minutes left before the Warriors went on a 26-6 run to take a commanding 66-46 lead with 7:45 remaining and cruised to the 18-point win. Shavon Dillon led the way for Wisconsin Lutheran with a game-high 19 points, while Rachel Johnson and Krissy Day added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
HEAD COACH KLAY KNUEPPEL: Klay Knueppel is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball program. He enters Friday’s game with an overall collegiate coaching record of 140-76. Knueppel, the third head coach in program history, spent 12 seasons (1992-2004) as an assistant with the Warriors before being named head coach in 2004. He has guided WLC to four consecutive NAC division titles and is 87-22 in conference games since joining the league in 2006-2007. Knueppel is 10-3 in NAC Tournament games after guiding the Warriors to tournament titles in 2008 and 2011.
2012 NAC TOURNAMENT: The top three seeds all advanced to Friday’s semifinals as WLC, #2 Dominican (18-8) and #3 MSOE (17-9) all recorded quarterfinal wins. Concordia Wisconsin (16-10), the tournament’s fifth seed, was the only road team to win on Wednesday as it knocked off #4 Lakeland, 56-44. Dominican defeated #7 Marian 72-56, while MSOE downed #6 Concordia Chicago 59-40. The winner of the two semifinal games will meet at the site of the highest remaining seed on Saturday at 7 p.m. for the league’s tournament championship.
WARRIORS NAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY: With Wednesday’s win, the Warriors improved their all-time NAC Tournament record to 10-3. WLC has advanced to the championship game three times (2008, 2009, 2011), winning the tournament in 2008 and 2011. Last season, the Warriors defeated Concordia Wisconsin 76-67 in the championship game behind 26 points from Erika Laete. Laete scored 70 points over three tournament games a year ago.
IN THE POLLS: The conference coaches picked both division champions correctly this season as they tabbed the Warriors and Dominican to win their respective divisions. The Warriors' opponent on Friday, CUW, was picked for second in the North and ended up tying with Lakeland for second place.
SERIES HISTORY: Wisconsin Lutheran holds a slight 28-26 edge in the all-time series versus Concordia Wisconsin. The Warriors have won the past four meetings over the Falcons. WLC has also won the past three games in the series played at the Recreation Complex.
LAST MEETING: WLC clinched its fourth straight NAC division title when it defeated the Falcons 64-58 in the team’s last game played on February 9 at the R. John Buuck Field House. The Warriors trailed 58-49 with six minutes left in the second half, but closed out the game on a 15-0 run. Freshman forward Katelyn Kuehl scored a season-high 21 points in the game to lead Wisconsin Lutheran.
WLC-CUW NAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY: The Warriors and Falcons have met twice in the six-year history of the NAC Tournament with both meetings coming in the championship game. In 2009, it was CUW which came away with the 69-65 overtime win but WLC evened the series last year as it punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a 76-67 win behind 26 points from Erika Laete and 10 rebounds from Rachel Johnson. The Warriors and Falcons have won four the first five NAC Tournament’s, with Lakeland capturing the other tournament title in 2010.
SCOUTING CONCORDIA WISCONSIN: The Falcons enter their semifinal matchup with the Warriors with a 16-10 overall record after going 13-5 in league play this season. CUW brings in a very balanced lineup as three players are averaging double figures led by Katie Luethe’s 12.9 points per game. Kendall Kerns and Tiffany Hendrickson are averaging 11.2 and 10.0 points per game, respectively. Kerns is also averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds per contest, while Luethe grabs 6.6 rebounds per game.
CUW’S LAST GAME: The Falcons used a 21-point, 14-rebound performance from Kendall Kerns to oust #4 Lakeland from the tournament as they defeated the Muskies 56-44 in their quarterfinal contest on Wednesday. CUW trailed 14-8 early, but closed out the half strong and took a 28-23 lead into halftime. Concordia Wisconsin led the entire second half en route to its 12-point victory.
CONCORDIA WISCONSIN HEAD COACH STACEY BRUNNER-JONES: Stacey Brunner-Jones is in her eighth season leading the Falcons program. The former Loras and Winona State assistant has compiled a 143-75 record during her tenure with the Falcons. Brunner-Jones has guided the Falcons to NAC Tournament titles in 2007 and 2009.
#4 Brittany Zietlow, 5-3, Jr. G, Oak Creek, Wis./Oak Creek
9.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg, Averaging a team-best 31.5 minutes per game
#21 Camille Parsons, 5-9, So. G, Urbana, Ill./Urbana
5.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, Second on the team with 58 assists
#22 Tiffany Hendrickson, 5-8, Jr. G, Ingleside, Ill./Carmel Catholic
10.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg, Leads the team shooting 45.7 percent (32-for-70) from three-point range
#30 Katie Luethe, 5-9, So. F, Oshkosh, Wis./West
12.9 ppg, 6.6 rpg, Leads the team in free throws made (91) and attempted (125)
#33 Kendall Kerns, 6-0, Sr. F, Stoughton, Wis./Stoughton
11.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg, Leads the team with 18 blocks
#10 Krissy Day, 5-5, Jr. G, West Allis, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran
6.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, Has a team-best 1.5 assist-to-turnover ratio
#12 Alyssa Allister, 5-3, Jr. G, Lake Mills, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran
6.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, Leads the team with 45 three-pointers made
#21 Rachel Johnson, 5-9, Sr. F, Milwaukee, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran
11.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, Leads the team with 72 assists
#40 Katelyn Kuehl, 5-9, Fr. F, Fond du Lac, Wis./Winnebago Lutheran
9.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, Shooting 43.1 percent (78-for-181) from the field
#45 Kristen Schulz, 6-3, Fr. C, Safford, Ariz./Arizona Lutheran
6.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg, Leads the team with 54 blocks