Late surge sends Wisconsin Lutheran to fourth straight division title
MEQUON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball team used a 15-0 run over the final six minutes to defeat Concordia Wisconsin 64-58 and clinch its fourth straight Northern Athletics Conference division title on Thursday night at the R. John Buuck Field House
The Warriors jumped out to an early 5-0 lead that included a three-point basket from Alyssa Allister (Lake Mills, Wis./Lakeside Lutheran). WLC continued to hold the lead until the 13:18 mark when the host Falcons took their first lead of the contest at 12-11.
After the first Falcons lead of the game, the two teams played very tightly for the next few minutes as the score was tied at 20-20 with 8:37 remaining in the half. The Warriors again took the lead at 23-22 after a three-pointer from Rachel Hoft (Germantown, Wis./Germantown), but CUW responded with a 10-0 run to go up 32-23 with just under two minutes remaining in the first half.
Katelyn Kuehl (Fond du Lac, Wis./Winnebago Lutheran) converted a three-point play to bring the lead back down to six points, but the Falcons' Katie Luethe answered with a three-point basket to push the lead back to nine with 38 seconds remaining. Kuehl answered with another three-pointer of her own to make the halftime score 35-29 in favor of CUW.
Concordia Wisconsin out-shot the Warriors in the opening half as it connected on 44.8 percent (13-for-29) of its first-half field goals. Wisconsin Lutheran made 34.5 percent (10-for-29) of its shots. The most staggering stat of the half was CUW out-rebounding Wisconsin Lutheran, 22-15.
Kuehl led the Warriors with nine first-half points, while Hoft chipped in with six on a pair of three-point baskets. Luethe and Kendall Kerns paced the Falcons with 10 points each.
The Warriors came out of the break and after falling behind 39-31, went on an 8-0 run to bring the score to 39-38 with 16:29 remaining in the game. Concordia Wisconsin answered back and pushed its lead to 10 points, 48-38, with 13:46 left in regulation.
WLC scored the next five points, including a three-pointer from Krissy Day (West Allis, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) to bring the deficit back to five. The Falcons again made another run and took a 58-49 lead when Tiffany Hendrickson buried a three-pointer with 6:58 remaining on the clock.
The three-pointer from Hendrickson would be the final points of the game for the Falcons as WLC rallied with a 15-0 run to close out the game and come away with the 64-58 victory. Kristen Schulz (Safford, Ariz./Arizona Lutheran) scored the game-tying basket with 2:40 left on the clock and made a free throw with 2:09 remaining to give the Warriors their first lead of the second half.
Wisconsin Lutheran narrowly out-shot CUW in the second half as it made 36.4 percent (12-for-33) of its shots, compared to 34.6 percent (9-for-26) for the Falcons. WLC also grabbed 24 second-half rebounds compared to 20 for Concordia Wisconsin.
Kuehl finished with a season-high 21 points on 7-for-10 shooting and added five rebounds to lead Wisconsin Lutheran. Jenna Neuberger (Muskego, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) added 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
Luethe scored 14 points to lead CUW (14-9, 13-4 NAC) as four of five Falcons starters scored in double-digits. The Warriors were able to dominate the bench scoring as they outscored Concordia Wisconsin, 23-6.
Wisconsin Lutheran (18-4, 15-1 NAC) plays its final road game of the regular season on Saturday afternoon when it travels to Madison, Wis. for a matchup with Edgewood (9-13, 8-8 NAC). Tip-off between the Warriors and Eagles is set for 2 p.m. at the Todd Wehr Edgedome. Fans unable to attend the game can follow the action live via audio, stats and video at wlcsports.com.