MEQUON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball team overcame 20 turnovers and its worst shooting performance of the season (29.3 percent) to defeat rival Concordia Wisconsin 51-40 Wednesday night inside the R. John Buuck Field House. The Warriors claimed sole possession of first place in the conference standings after winning their ninth straight game over the Falcons.
The Warriors (14-3, 12-1 NACC) held the lead for all but 1:25 of the entire contest after CUW took a brief 4-3 lead at the 17:34 mark. WLC then used a 13-2 run to take its largest lead of the half at 16-6 with 9:11 left before halftime. The Warriors failed to extend their lead any further as they scored just eight points the rest of the period and the Falcons trimmed their deficit to just two points, 24-22, at halftime.
WLC was plagued by just 30.4 percent (7-of-23) shooting and 11 turnovers in the opening period. Melissa Klemm (Germantown, Wis./Germantown) topped all first-half scorers with 10 points on a trio of three-pointers. CUW shot a comparable 32.1 percent (9-of-28) from the field and went just 3-of-10 from the charity stripe.
The Warriors remained in front for the entire second half despite CUW closing within two points at the 11:08 mark. WLC then used an 8-0 run to lead 40-32 with 6:07 remaining only to see the Falcons come back to within four points. Five straight points from the Warriors, capped by two free throws from Rachel Hoft (Germantown, Wis./Germantown) at the 2:49 mark, sealed the win for the Forest Green and White.
Despite struggling mightily from the floor in the second half at 27.8 percent (5-of-18), the Warriors made it to the free throw line 26 times, making 17 of their attempts. CUW, meanwhile, was just 0-of-5 from the charity stripe in the period and 29 percent (9-of-31) from the floor.
Klemm and Brittanny Bahr (Racine, Wis./Shoreland Lutheran) tied for a game-high with 11 points each. Kristen Schulz (Safford, Ariz./Arizona Lutheran) notched her 13th double-double of the season with 10 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks in just 20 minutes of action due to foul trouble. Melanie Laete (Spokane, Wash./Evergreen Lutheran) and Kelli Johnson (Milwaukee, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) pulled down 10 and eight boards, respectively, leading to a 51-30 advantage on the glass. Although committing 11 more turnovers than CUW, WLC out-scored the hosts 10-8 in points off turnovers.
Camille Parsons scored eight points to pace the Falcons (16-3, 12-2 NACC), who shot 30.5 percent (18-of-59) from the field.
The Warriors, winners of 13 straight, look to avenge their only league loss of the season Saturday when they host Alverno (12-7, 9-5 NACC) at 7 p.m. Links to live audio, stats, and video for the game will be available at wlcsports.com.