Familiar Foes Clash Saturday For Conference Crown
WLC hosts CUW at 7 p.m. with NCAA berth on the line
February 22, 2013
MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Lutheran College women’s basketball team (24-2) continues its quest for a third straight Northern Athletics Conference Tournament championship with a tournament championship clash against second-seeded Concordia Wisconsin (19-8) Saturday, February 23 at 7 p.m. at the Recreation Complex. The Warriors, who have homecourt advantage throughout the tournament, advanced to Saturday's tournament final after defeating fourth-seeded Benedictine, 69-47, Thursday night in a semifinal matchup. The winner receives the conference's automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament.
LIVE COVERAGE: Saturday's tournament championship game will be webcast live on wlcsports.com with the pregame show beginning 15 minutes prior to tip-off. Jon Henseler (play-by-play) and Sam Siemers (color analyst) will call the action courtside. Fans can also follow the game via live stats and live video at wlcsports.com.
WISCONSIN LUTHERAN UPDATE: The top-seeded Warriors eliminated Benedictine from the conference tournament for the third straight season after a 69-47 semifinal win Thursday night at the Recreation Complex. Trailing 5-4 at the 17:26 mark of the first half, the Warriors rattled off 17 straight points to lead 21-5 with 11:33 left. The Eagles came within eight points early in the second half, but never threatened after that as the Warriors coasted to their school-record 16th straight win. Senior Shavon Dillon (Milwaukee, Wis./Hope School) scored a game-high 17 points, while junior Melissa Klemm (Germantown, Wis./Germantown) added 11 second-half points off the bench. Dillon continues to lead the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game, while sophomore Kristen Schulz (Safford, Ariz./Arizona Lutheran) averages a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game.
HEAD COACH KLAY KNUEPPEL: Klay Knueppel is in his ninth season as head coach of the Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball program. He enters Saturday's game with an overall collegiate coaching record of 166-79. 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 five consecutive NAC division titles and is 104-22 in conference games since joining the league in 2006-2007. Knueppel is 14-3 in NAC Tournament games after guiding the Warriors to tournament titles in 2008, 2011, and 2012.
WINNING STREAKS: The Warriors are in the midst of several winning streaks. WLC set a program record with 16 straight wins Thursday, with its last loss coming December 29 against Williams. Wisconsin Lutheran also owns a 27-game winning streak over conference opponents. Its last loss came February 1, 2012 at home against Lakeland, 77-62. WLC enters Saturday's game having won eight straight conference tournament games.
2013 NAC TOURNAMENT: The tournament's top two seeds advanced to the conference championship Saturday at 7 p.m. The other semifinal matchup saw #2 Concordia Wisconsin defeat #3 Maranatha, 47-40, Thursday in Mequon, Wis. The winner of Saturday's game receives the conference’s automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament.
WARRIORS NAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY: The Warriors are 14-3 all-time in NAC Tournament games. WLC has advanced to the championship game four previous times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012), winning the tournament in 2008, 2011, and 2012. Last season, the Warriors defeated Dominican, 85-61, in the championship game behind 18 points from Dillon.
SCOUTING CONCORDIA WISCONSIN: The second-seeded Falcons (19-8) advanced to the tournament championship after defeating third-seeded Maranatha, 47-40, Thursday at the R. John Buuck Field House in Mequon, Wis. CUW, which led by 15 points at halftime, had to hold on as the Crusaders cut their deficit to just five points, 45-40, with :57 seconds left in the game. The Falcons' leading scorer, Katie Luethe, netted a team-high 13 points in the victory. Anna Butler added 10 points. CUW came out on top despite shooting 33.3 percent (18-for-54) from the floor, compared the 40.9 percent (18-for-44) for Maranatha.
SERIES HISTORY: The Warriors hold a slim lead in the series over the Falcons as they own a 30-26 record heading into Saturday's 57th all-time meeting. In their only matchup of the season just two weeks ago, the Warriors were victorious, 81-67. WLC has controlled the series of late, winning six straight games over its rivals.
LAST MEETING: The Warriors defeated the Falcons, 81-67, February 9 at the Recreation Complex behind a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds from Dillon. Trailing 32-26 at halftime, the Falcons came out and took momentum in the second half as they put together a 14-3 run for a seven-point lead after overcoming an eight-point deficit. The Warriors' bench players helped bring them back as four players came off the bench to score a combined 25 points to make the game exciting down the stretch. The second half included 10 lead changes after just four in the first half. Dillon took over the game as she scored 18 points in the final six minutes of the contest.
CONCORDIA WISCONSIN HEAD COACH STACEY BRUNNER-JONES: Stacey Brunner-Jones is in her ninth season as head coach at Concordia Wisconsin. Jones enters Saturday's game with a career collegiate coaching record of 162-84. The Winona State graduate has guided the Falcons to four NAC championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
IN THE POLLS: The conference coaches picked both division champions correctly as they tabbed the Warriors and Concordia Wisconsin to win their respective divisions. WLC is also receiving votes for the fifth straight week in the latest D3hoops.com Top 25 poll.
#10 Krissy Day, 5-5, Sr., G, West Allis, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran
3.3 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 1.4 apg
#12 Alyssa Allister, 5-3, Sr., G, Lake Mills, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran
5.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.3 apg
#32 Shavon Dillon, 5-6, Sr., G, Milwaukee, Wis./Hope School
14.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.1 apg
#43 Melanie Laete, 5-11, Jr., F, Spokane, Wash./Evergreen Lutheran
6.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.6 bpg
#45 Kristen Schulz, 6-3, So., C, Safford, Ariz./Arizona Lutheran
8.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg
#4 Brittany Zietlow, 5-3, Sr., G, Oak Creek, Wis./Oak Creek
7.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.7 apg
#12 Anna Butler, 5-6, Jr., G, Kewaskum, Wis./Kewaskum
5.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.4 apg
#21 Camille Parsons, 5-9, Jr., G, Urbana, Ill./Urbana
9.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.5 apg
#22 Tiffany Hendrickson, 5-8, Sr., F, Ingleside, Ill./Carmel Catholic
7.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 0.7 apg
#30 Katie Luethe, 5-9, Jr., F, Oshkosh, Wis./West
13.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.7 apg