Warriors' Tournament Title Run Stopped Short By Falcons

Photo Credit: Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
Photo Credit: Steve Frommell, d3photography.com

MEQUON, Wis. (WLCSports.com) - The Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball teams' march towards a seventh straight NACC Tournament title was stopped short by top-seeded Concordia Wisconsin, 76-66, on Thursday night in a semifinal showdown inside the R. John Buuck Field House.

THE BASICS

  • Final Score: No. 1 Concordia Wisconsin 76, No. 4 Wisconsin Lutheran 66
  • Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (16-10), Concordia Wisconsin (22-4)
  • Location: R. John Buuck Field House, Mequon, Wis. | Attendance: 459

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Warriors and Falcons played a tightly-contested first quarter, as there were four lead changes and neither team held more than a four-point lead. WLC trailed by one point, 18-17, after the opening quarter despite out-shooting the Falcons 46.7 percent to 44.4 percent.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran held a three-point lead at 26-23 in the second quarter before Concordia Wisconsin scored eight straight points. CUW carried a seven-point lead, 37-30, into halftime due in large part to Baylee Barker's two three-pointers to close the first half. 
  • The Warriors shot 42.3 percent (11-for-26) in the first half and were led by Coreana Carson's (Milwaukee, Wis./HOPE Christian) 10 points. The Falcons shot 47.0 percent (16-for-34) from the field and were paced by Barker's nine points.
  • The Falcons slowly began to increase their lead after halftime, building a lead of nine points five different times. CUW went ahead 54-41 with 2:51 left in the third period before the Warriors closed their deficit to nine points after three quarters. Both teams shot over 50 percent in the third quarter, as CUW out-scored WLC 21-19.
  • The Warriors battled back in the fourth quarter and cut the CUW lead down to just four points, 62-58, with 4:12 remaining. The Falcons answered by scoring six straight points and used a 13-3 run to build their largest lead of the game with just 0:34 seconds left. 
  • WLC shot 46.9 percent (15-for-32) in the second half, while CUW shot 56.0 percent (14-for-25).

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Jen Dowden (Bonduel, Wis./Bonduel) finished with a game high 22 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists.
  • Carson and Caitlin Knueppel (Wauwatosa, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) added 16 and 11 points each for the Warriors. Maddy Elrod (Conifer, Colo./Conifer) and Lexi Reinke (Bonduel, Wis./Bonduel) grabbed seven and six rebounds, respectively.
  • CUW out-shot WLC 50.8 percent (30-for-59) to 44.8 percent (26-for-58) in the contest. Wisconsin Lutheran managed to shoot nearly 45 percent despite shooting only 16.7 percent (4-for-24) from three-point range. 
  • The Falcons committed just four turnovers and out-scored the Warriors 17-5 in points off turnovers. WLC's 11 turnovers were its second-fewest of the season.
  • Concordia Wisconsin was led by Taylor DeLong's 16 points, Audrey Scharmer's 15 points, and Barker's 14. Scharmer also grabbed nine rebounds and Samantha Blissett dished out six assists for CUW, which will host second-seeded Lakeland on Saturday for the conference tournament title.
  • The Warriors suffered a semifinal loss for just the second time in 11 NACC Tournament appearances.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran finished 16-10 overall and has finished at least three games over .500 for the 12th straight year.
  • WLC's run of six straight NCAA Tournament appearances was the longest-active streak of any women's basketball program in the state.