MADISON, Wis. – It surely wasn't a typical game for Concordia University Wisconsin on Tuesday, having to play under duress the entire game, especially in the final minute. However, it escaped with a determined 66-64 victory at Edgewood College during Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play inside the Todd Wehr Edgedome.
CUW has been dispatching opponents this season with numerous 20-plus point wins, but it needed to overcome a 12-point second half deficit and make four free throws in the final 23 seconds. Katie Luethe sank 1-of-2 free throws with 8.0 seconds to play before the Eagles' Rachel Pope missed a game-tying 10 footer with two seconds to play.
EC didn't have a timeout and had to go the length of the floor and through a difficult CUW full-court press. Luethe hauled in the missed shot and took an important dribble before the clock expired.
CUW turned the ball over 16 times, which is uncharacteristic for their style of play, and EC converted those errors into 17 points. The Falcons however did drain a season-high-tying six triples – three in each half.
Both teams traded blows in the first three-plus minutes of the game (tied 6-6) before CUW took a five-point lead behind a Luethe long ball and Coenen jumper. That lead would quickly dissipated after the Eagles went on a 12-0 scoring run to take an 18-11 lead with 9:27 to play in the first half.
EC (7-10, 7-5 NACC) held a single-digit lead the rest of the way until taking a 33-25 lead into locker room at halftime.
The Eagles built their lead to double-figures and led nearly the entire way until a House jumper capped a 25-12 scoring run during a nine minute and 38 second stretch. CUW showed toughness to win its sixth-straight NACC game in 2014.
EC had several chances in the waning seconds to tie the game or take the lead, but couldn't get the ball through the hoop.
Luethe (senior, Oshkosh, Wis.) led all players with 21 points, to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the season and 14th of her career. She also dished out a career-high-tying five assists and rejected a career-high-tying three field goal attempts. Freshman Jessica House (Oneida, Wis.) tied a career high in scoring for the second-straight game after tallying 11 on 4-of-7 shooting, including three 3-pointers.
Senior Anna Butler (Kewaskum, Wis.) and sophomore Megan Coenen (Green Bay, Wis.) each scored 10 points for the Falcons (15-1, 12-1 NACC). CUW remains atop the NACC standings by two games over Wisconsin Lutheran College.
Rachel Pope led EC with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Courtney Spangler scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench. The Eagles finished the game shooting 40.4 percent (21-of-52) from the field after sinking 52.4 percent (11-of-21) of their first half attempts.
CUW returns to action on Friday with a non-conference showdown against NAIA opponent Concordia University Nebraska at 6 p.m. in the first game of the Concordia Invitational Tournament.