AURORA, Ill. (WLCSports.com) - The Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball team saw its nine-point second-half lead evaporate but used a 12-2 scoring run late in the fourth quarter to hold off Aurora 72-68 Saturday afternoon inside Thornton Gymnasium. Caitlin Knueppel (Wauwatosa, Wis.) scored a team-high 17 points to surpass the 1,000-career point plateau as the Warriors rattled off their eighth straight win.
- Final Score: Wisconsin Lutheran 72, Aurora 68
- Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (8-1, 5-0 NACC), Aurora (3-7, 1-4 NACC)
- Location: Thornton Gymnasium, Aurora, Ill.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Spartans held a 6-2 lead early in the opening frame, until WLC used an 8-2 run to take a 10-8 lead.
- After Aurora tied the game at 10, Jen Dowden (Bonduel. Wis.) connected on a three-pointer and Kelly Tramburg (Fall River, Wis.) converted two free throws to put the visitors ahead 15-10.
- Aurora used a 7-2 spurt to close out the quarter, only trailing WLC by one, 17-16.
- The two teams were deadlocked at 26-26 with 5:20 remaining in the half, but the Warriors took a 36-33 lead into the locker room at the break after a triple from Tierney Woodward (Poynette, Wis.) with five ticks left on the clock.
- Wisconsin Lutheran scored the first five points of the second half, pushing its lead to eight.
- After an Aurora three pointer at the 4:04 mark that cut the WLC lead to just three, the Warriors used a 6-0 surge to increase their lead to nine points at 56-47, their largest of the game.
- WLC took a 56-52 lead into the final period of play, and neither team scored for the first two minutes of the quarter until Aurora converted a basket and a free throw to cut the Warriors lead to 56-55.
- The Spartans then scored five straight points to take a 60-56 lead with just over six minutes to play in the contest.
- Wisconsin Lutheran answered with a 6-2 run to tie the game at 62-62, then scored six more points, powered by baskets from Dowden, Maddie Cruz (New Berlin, Wis.), and Knueppel to regain a 68-62 lead with 1:55 to play.
- Two Spartans free throws cut the WLC lead to 69-66 with 0:49 seconds left, then Knueppel made one free throw to put WLC back up by four.
- Allie Reichert connected on a jumper with six seconds left for the hosts, but Knueppel iced the game with two free throws to give Wisconsin Lutheran the 72-68 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Knueppel led the balanced attack for the Warriors with 17 points and dished out a team-high seven assists. She became the 17th member of the 1,000-point club with her free throw at the 7:07 mark in the second quarter.
- Dowden added 16 points and six rebounds, while Tramburg scored 12 points with six boards.
- Cruz rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points and added three steals.
- The Warriors shot 47.4 percent (27-of-57) from the field and converted 66.7 percent (14-of-21) from the charity stripe.
- WLC out-rebounded Aurora 36-33 in the contest and out-scored the hosts 12-2 in fast break points.
FOR THE FOES
- Meija Rabi led the hosts with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Julie Galauner added 18 points.
- Adraina Ramirez chipped in eight points and pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
- The Spartans collected 13 second-chance points, while forcing 13 WLC turnovers.
- Aurora shot 45.6 percent (26-of-57) from the field and registered six blocks in the contest.
- The Warriors return to action Tuesday when they travel to Mequon to take on the Concordia Wisconsin Falcons (9-2, 6-0 NACC) at 7:00 p.m. CUW was victorious in all three matchups versus Wisconsin Lutheran a season ago. Live stats and video will be available at WLCSports.com.