MILWAUKEE (WLCSports.com) – Jen Dowden (Bonduel, Wis.) scored a game-high 29 points to lead the top-seeded Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball team to a 68-47 victory over the visiting fourth-seeded Lakeland Muskies in a NACC Tournament semifinal Saturday afternoon inside the Recreation Complex. The Warriors jumped out to a 12-0 lead and committed just six turnovers en route to their tournament win.
- Final Score: Wisconsin Lutheran 68, Lakeland 47
- Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (23-3), Lakeland (18-9)
- Location: Recreation Complex, Milwaukee, Wis.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Dowden scored the first 12 points of the contest, as WLC held a 12-0 lead with 4:16 remaining in the first quarter.
- Caitlin Knueppel (Wauwatosa, Wis.) connected on a corner triple and Dowden connected on another mid-range jumper to give the Warriors a 19-8 advantage after the first period.
- Lexi Reinke (Bonduel, Wis.) scored five straight points off the bench, pushing the Warriors lead to 13 with just over five minutes to play in the half.
- Dowden converted a jumper from the free throw line and Coreana Carson (Milwaukee, Wis.) used a steal and a layup to increase WLC's lead to 34-17 with two minutes left in the first half.
- Wisconsin Lutheran entered the locker room at halftime with a 34-19 advantage after shooting 51.7 percent from the field, with Dowden leading all scorers with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting.
- Lakeland opened the half on a 6-0 run to cut the WLC lead to just nine points, but Dowden answered with two free throws to put the Warriors back ahead by 11 with 5:51 remaining in the third quarter.
- Both teams traded free throws in the final minutes of the quarter until Knueppel buried a deep three-pointer as the clock expired, giving Wisconsin Lutheran a 48-33 lead heading into the final period.
- Carson started the fourth quarter with a corner triple, then Dowden converted two more from the free throw line to extend the Warriors' lead to 18 with eight minutes to play in the contest.
- Kelly Tramburg (Fall River, Wis.) connected on a three from the corner, then Reinke converted a layup, giving the Warriors a 60-43 lead with 3:18 showing on the clock.
- At the 1:02 mark, Knueppel buried a three as the shot clock expired, marking her 248th career three-pointer, tying the record for most three-point makes in NACC history.
- Tierney Woodward (Poynette, Wis.) came off the bench and connected on a triple from the top of the key to push the WLC lead to 68-47, where it would remain until the final buzzer.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Dowden led the way for WLC with 29 points, including 22 points in the first half.
- Knueppel added 13 points while Reinke chipped in eight points and four rebounds.
- Carson stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, four steals, three rebounds, and three assists.
- Wisconsin Lutheran shot 45.1 percent (23-for-51) from the field and 75 percent (15-for-20) from the free throw line.
- The Warriors forced 19 Lakeland turnovers and converted them into 24 points.
- WLC committed just six turnovers, its second-lowest total of the season.
- Wisconsin Lutheran won its 15th straight home game.
FOR THE FOES
- Rachel Stankevich led the Muskies with 15 points, while Megan Will added 13 off the bench.
- Maddy Doll registered nine points and eight rebounds for the visitors.
- Lakeland shot 35.7 percent (15-of-42) for the contest, including 80 percent (16-of-20) from the free throw line.
- LU out-rebounded the Warriors 37-22, including 12 offensive rebounds.
- The Warriors advance to the NACC Tournament Final Sunday afternoon against second-seeded Concordia Wisconsin (20-6). The Falcons advanced after a 61-52 win over Benedictine in Saturday's first semifinal game. WLC and CUW last played in the NACC Tournament Final in 2013. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. inside the Recreation Complex. Live stats and video will be available at WLCSports.com.