Upset Bid Falls Short At No. 2 St. Thomas

Photo Credit: Caleb Williams, d3photography.com
Photo Credit: Caleb Williams, d3photography.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WLCSports.com) – The Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball team saw its historic season come to an end in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament, falling to host and second-ranked St. Thomas 67-51 inside Schoenecker Arena Saturday night. Three Warriors scored in double figures, but the host Tommies shot 53.3 percent from the floor in the victory. 

  • Final Score: No. 2 St. Thomas 67, Wisconsin Lutheran 51
  • Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (27-2), St. Thomas (28-1)
  • Location: Schoenecker Arena, St. Paul, Minn.

  • Lexi Reinke (Bonduel, Wis.) started the scoring with a triple from the top of the key, but the Tommies answered with six straight points to take a 6-3 lead at the seven minute mark.
  • Jenna Mace (Wisconsin Dells, Wis.) scored a driving layup, and Kelly Tramburg (Fall River, Wis.) buried a triple from the right corner as time expired in the opening quarter to bring WLC within two points, 14-12, after the first quarter.
  • The Tommies went on an 8-2 run to start the second quarter, extending their lead to eight points, until Tramburg hit a mid-range jumper to bring WLC within six, 24-18, with four minutes to play in the half.
  • St. Thomas scored the final 12 points of the opening half, including a running jumper as the buzzer sounded, to take a 38-20 advantage into the locker room at halftime, shooting 61.5 percent from the field.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran opened the second half with a 5-1 spurt to trim UST's lead to 14 points.
  • Trailing 41-25 at the 7:08 mark, the Warriors scored eight straight points cut their deficit to just eight with 2:31 remaining after a pair of Reinke free throws.
  • The Tommies responded with two straight three-pointers, but Maddie Cruz (New Berlin, Wis.) connected on a trifecta in the final seconds of the third quarter to keep the deficit at 11 points headed into the final 10 minutes of play.
  • St. Thomas extended its lead to 17 points with 6:23 remaining, but WLC responded with a five-point swing over the next two minutes, capped off by a three-point play from Amanda Brug (Sturtevant, Wis.), to bring the Warriors within 12 with just over five minutes to play.
  • The Tommies converted free throws to push their lead to 14 points, until Tramburg scored a driving layup to trim UST's lead to just 12 with 1:56 remaining.
  • After St. Thomas made a free throw, Cruz scored a layup of her own to bring the Warriors within 12 points after a timeout at the 1:28 mark.
  • UST converted four free throws in the final minute of regulation to secure the 67-51 victory.

  • Tramburg paced WLC with 13 points and five rebounds, while Cruz and Reinke added 11 points each. Reinke and Maddy Elrod (Conifer, Colo.) also grabbed six rebounds each. 
  • Brug added seven points off the bench and Jen Dowden (Bonduel, Wis.) dished out a game-high six assists.
  • The Warriors shot 41.7 percent (20-of-48) from the floor and converted 80 percent (8-of-10) of their free throw attempts.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran committed 13 turnovers while forcing the Tommies into 15 turnovers.
  • The game marked the final contest for Warriors' seniors Cruz, Dowden, Reinke, Elrod, and Wynonah Filla (Osseo, Wis.). The group combined for an 87-24 overall record, a 68-12 conference record, three conference championships, and three NCAA Tournament appearances.

  • Hannah Spaulding led all scorers with 21 points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
  • Kaylie Brazil added 11 points while Kaia Porter and Kelsie Cox chipped in 10 points apiece.
  • UST shot 53.3 percent (24-of-45) from the floor and converted 70 percent (14-of-20) of their attempts from the charity stripe.

  • The Warriors conclude their season with a program-best 27-2 overall record.