RIVER FOREST, Ill. (WLCSports.com) – Jen Dowden (Bonduel, Wis.) scored a season-high 27 points to lead the Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball team to a 63-44 NACC road victory over second-place Concordia Chicago Wednesday night inside Geiseman Gymnasium. With the victory, the Warriors clinched a berth in the NACC Tournament for the 12th straight season.
- Final Score: Wisconsin Lutheran 63, Concordia Chicago 44
- Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (16-1, 13-0 NACC), Concordia Chicago (14-3, 10-3 NACC)
- Location: Geiseman Gymnasium, River Forest, Ill.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Kelly Tramburg (Fall River, Wis.) scored the first five points for the Warriors to give WLC an early 5-2 advantage.
- Dowden scored the next six points for the Green and White to extend the lead to 11-4 with 6:05 left in the opening quarter.
- CUC battled back to trim the deficit to just three points, 20-17, with 0:36 seconds to play in the first quarter.
- Dowden and Tramburg combined to score all 20 of the Warriors' points in the first quarter as WLC led 20-17.
- The Warriors' defense opened the second quarter forcing three straight Cougars turnovers.
- Wisconsin Lutheran's lead reached double-figures at 27-17 following a pair of free throws from Dowden with 8:34 left in the half.
- WLC went the next 5:37 without a field goal until Dowden broke the drought with a layup with 2:57 remaining on the clock.
- The Cougars were held without a field goal for 7:04 before a late layup broke the scoreless streak with 0:38 seconds left in the quarter.
- The Warriors out-scored the hosts 20-5 in the second quarter and carried a 40-22 lead going into the locker room.
- Dowden led all scorers with 21 points, while Tramburg added nine.
- Wisconsin Lutheran shot 52 percent in the first half, while holding the Cougars to just 36 percent. The Warriors also converted 10 turnovers into 19 points in the half.
- CUC opened the second half by scoring the first six points and trimmed the deficit to 40-28.
- Caitlin Knueppel (Wauwatosa, Wis.) buried a triple from behind the arc to lift Wisconsin Lutheran's lead to 19 points, 47-28, with 6:45 left in the third quarter.
- Dowden's layup with 1:20 left in the quarter pushed the Warriors' to 20, 56-36, which would remain the score heading into the fourth quarter.
- Neither team scored for the first 3:40 of the final quarter until Concordia Chicago found the bottom of the net on consecutive possessions with 5:44 remaining in regulation.
- Knueppel's three-pointer snapped the 6:53 scoring drought for WLC and gave the Warriors a 59-40 lead with 4:27 left in the game.
- Wisconsin Lutheran held CUC scoreless for the final three minutes to seal the conference victory, 63-44.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Dowden finished with a season and game-high 27 points, while grabbing four rebounds.
- Tramburg added 13 points, and Knueppel added nine points.
- Coreana Carson (Milwaukee, Wis.) grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and contributed nine points.
- WLC shot 45.7 percent (21-of-46) from the floor and 84.2 percent from the charity stripe (16-of-19).
- Wisconsin Lutheran controlled the boards, 33-25, and converted 17 turnovers into 26 points.
- The Warriors, who are allowing just 48.4 points per game, held the NACC's highest-scoring team to a season-low 44 points.
FOR THE FOES
- CUC was led by Courtney Lofink, who finished with 12 points, four assists, and four steals.
- Michaela Thornton added 10 points for Concordia Chicago.
- The Cougars shot 36.7 percent (18-of-49) from the field in the contest but struggled from behind the arc, shooting just 26.7 percent (4-of-15).
- The hosts forced 17 turnovers and recorded 19 points from their bench.
- The Warriors return to the Recreation Complex Saturday when they host MSOE (7-11, 5-8 NACC) for Winterfest. The Raiders have won back-to-back games, including a victory against Marian Wednesday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. Live stats and video will be available at WLCSports.com.