MEQUON, Wis. – Fans who attended the women's basketball game on Wednesday night got every penny worth of their admission cost, as Alverno College and Concordia University Wisconsin went wire-to-wire for 40 minutes. The Inferno took over the last two minutes of the contest to earn a 50-45 victory in the final game of the Northern Athletics Conference regular season.
CUW's opponent for Saturday's quarterfinal matchup of the NAC Tournament will be Rockford College at 7 p.m. inside the R. John Buuck Field House. The Regents defeated Dominican University, 68-51, to earn the seven seed.
The Falcons (17-8, 14-4 NAC) built a 10-point lead three times in the opening half, but could not extend it because of AC's efficient offense. The Inferno committed just six turnovers in the game and went to the line 21 times, compared to the Falcons nine free throw attempts. Neither team shot particularly well (AC 32.2 percent, CUW 28.8 percent) but it was the Inferno's 28-14 advantage in paint scoring that proved to be the difference.
The Inferno took the basketball to the hoop on nearly every possession and used a 16-4 scoring run over the final 7:24 to defeat the Falcons for the second time this season. Back-to-back layups by Kayla Kennedy and Devon Gorman turned a two-point deficit into a two-point lead with 1:23 to play.
AC turned up the defensive pressure with blocks on successive CUW possessions to turn the momentum in its favor. The Inferno made 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
Senior Tiffany Hendrickson (Ingleside, Ill.) led the Falcons with nine points, while senior Brittany Zietlow (Oak Creek, Wis.) and junior Katie Luethe (Oshkosh) each added seven points. Junior Anna Butler (Kewaskum, Wis.) grabbed in a team-high 10 rebounds and stole a game-best three passes.
Gorman and Ashley Berry each recorded a double-double, which include a game-high 15 points. Kristen Speerschneider directed the offense to the tune of seven assists, while scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds.
The Falcons led the entire first half and opened the game with a 10-0 run in the first four minutes. AC (16-9, 13-5 NAC) had to work for every point, but found itself down 25-20 going into the locker room at halftime.
CUW ends the NAC regular season with double-figure wins for the seven-consecutive season and holds a 90.4 winning percent against league opponents during that time.