Warriors Reel In Muskies, Advance To NACC Tournament Final

Photo Credit: Larry Radloff, d3photography.com
Photo Credit: Larry Radloff, d3photography.com

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. 

THE BASICS

  • 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.

UP NEXT

  • 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.