February 15, 2012

Edgewood College falls short of postseason with loss to Lakeland

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MADISON, Wis. - The door to the postseason has been open for the Edgewood College women's basketball team for the last two weeks. Finally, on Wednesday against Lakeland College, it slammed shut. The Muskies built a double digit lead early in the second half and defeated the Eagles 69-62 at the Todd Wehr Edgedome. With the loss, the Eagles finish fifth in the NAC North Division and miss the NAC Tournament for the first since the inception of the league in 2006-07.

Edgewood College (9-15, 8-10 NAC) displayed a physical, intense defense in the first 20 minutes and managed to lead a majority of the first half. Melanie Walker and Alison Tobin hit consecutive three-pointers as part of a 10-2 run to give Edgewood College an early 14-10 lead. After the Muskies regained the lead, Tobin scored a pair of free throws, and added a jumper in the paint to push the Eagles back ahead 20-16. The Eagles went to the line 14 times in the first half, and made 11 free throws, but ultimately went into halftime down 28-27. The Muskies shot 52.4 percent (11-for-21) in the first half, but were hampered by 16 turnovers.

Lakeland College (18-6, 13-5 NAC) asserted control in the opening minutes of the second half. Four points by Jessica Genke and a three-point basket from Dana Henrichs sparked a 12-3 run to open the final 20 minutes. Down by as many as 13, however, the Eagles would rally back. Edgewood College would score 12 of the next 15 points, the final five coming on a Chelsey Watkins three-point basket and a Mallory Palmer jumper, to cut the Muskie lead to 48-44 with six minutes to play.

Soon after, however, Lakeland's Henrichs provided the final dagger in the Eagles postseason hopes, nailing back-to-back three-point baskets. Henrichs, who went 4-for-4 from behind the arc for the game gave the Muskies a 58-46 lead. The Eagles were unable to draw within seven points until a Mariah Hill three-point basket in the final seconds.

The game marked the final home appearance for Edgewood College seniors Walker and Sadie Ewing. Watkins and Tobin shared team honors with 12 points apiece, while Hill also cracked double figures with 10 points. Tobin pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, while Hill dished out four assists. The Eagles shot 32.3 percent from the field for the game.

The loss, coupled with an 86-75 Marian University victory over Alverno College, put the Sabres into the final NAC North Division playoff spot and will leave the Eagles sitting at home for the postseason. Edgewood College will conclude the 2011-12 season on Saturday with a NAC Challenge Game at Rockford College. Saturday's game will be at 2:00 p.m.

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