MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball team overcame a 14-point deficit with a resounding response in the second half, out-scoring Benedictine 37-17 on its way to a 65-51 victory Saturday afternoon on Winterfest at the Recreation Complex. Melissa Klemm's (Germantown, Wis./Germantown) 14 second-half points helped extend WLC's (13-3, 11-1 NACC) winning streak to 12 games in a row.
Trailing 34-28 at halftime, the Warriors ripped off an 18-4 run to open the second half -- the first eight of those points scored by Klemm -- to take a 46-38 lead with 8:58 left in the game. BenU (7-10, 7-5 NACC) pulled to within five at 54-49 with 3:52 to go, but the Warriors scored 11 straight points to take their biggest lead at 65-49 with 57 seconds remaining.
After shooting 28 percent (7-for-25) in the first half, WLC hit 48 percent (12-for-25) in the closing frame and finished 38 percent for the game. The Warriors' defense was also key to the turnaround, holding Benedictine to 20.8 percent (5-for-24) in the second half after the Eagles had shot 54.5 percent (12-for-22) in the opening stanza.
Klemm was 5-for-8 in the second half, including 3-for-5 from the perimeter after going 0-for-5 in the first half, all on three-point attempts. The senior guard recorded game highs with 15 points and four assists. Kristen Schulz (Safford, Ariz./Arizona Lutheran) posted her 12th double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Brittanny Bahr (Racine, Wis./Shoreland Lutheran) and Rachel Hoft (Germantown, Wis./Germantown) supplied 10 points apiece.
Briana Hamilton paced the Eagles with 14 points, Vincenza Ranallo scored 12, and Meghan Novak added 11.
Hamilton scored 12 first-half points to lead BenU, which went on a 25-7 surge in the first half to grab a 30-16 lead with 6:00 remaining. The Eagles out-scored the Warriors 16-8 in the paint in the opening half before WLC took control in the second half.
WLC held a 9-2 edge in fast break points and a 20-14 advantage in points off turnovers in the game.
The Warriors travel to take on fellow first-place Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference rival Concordia Wisconsin (16-2, 12-1 NACC) Wednesday at 7 p.m. Live audio, stats, and video links will be available on wlcsports.com.