RIVER FOREST, Ill. – Despite four players scoring in double figures, including sophomore Taylor DeLong, who recorded her first career double-double, the Concordia University Wisconsin Women's Basketball team dropped its Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference opener Tuesday night against Concordia University Chicago. The Cougars used a 24-9 run in the first half to build a lead and controlled the second half en route to the 80-68 win.
DeLong (Milwaukee, Wis.) finished the night with 12 points and 10 rebounds in picking up the double-double. Junior Megan Coenen (Green Bay, Wis.) led CUW with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, while guards Madelyn Landgraf (Elkhart Lake, Wis.) and Katelyn Sewall (Menasha, Wis.) chipped in with 12 and 11, respectively.
"We give all the credit to Concordia Chicago as they made shots," said Falcons head coach Stacey Brunner-Jones. "We were not good from the free throw line and didn't handle our first road trip live we have in past seasons. Our inexperience showed tonight."
The free throw shooting Brunner-Jones was referring to was the Falcons making just 17-of-29 (58.6 percent) from the line. CUC shot just 60 percent (15-of-25) from the charity stripe, but were solid from the floor in making 46.8 percent (29-for-62).
The turning point of the first half was a 24-9 Cougars run that turned a 13-13 game into a 37-22 CUC lead with 2:54 remaining before halftime. The Falcons would respond with an 8-2 run to close the half, trailing 39-30 before the break.
CUC guard Jaela DeJean played the half of her career in giving her team the nine-point halftime lead. DeJean has 20 points before the break on 8-of-10 shooting. Coenen had 10 points for the Falcons before the break, while DeLong collected nine rebounds and added seven points in the opening half.
CUW (2-1, 0-1 NACC) couldn't get any closer in the second 20 minutes as the Cougars led by double-digits much of half. Concordia Chicago built a game-high 19-point lead with 3:43 remaining in the contest, with the final resulting in a 12-point setback for the Falcons.
The story of the second half was the Cougars connecting on 53.8 percent (14-for-26) of their shots, while the Falcons countered with just 37.5 percent (12-for-32) shooting. The Falcons did a good job of controlling DeJean after halftime as she was limited to two points, but backcourt mate Morgan Jahnke paced her team with 12 points. DeJean led all players with 22 points, while Jahnke added 16.
For the game CUW finished by shooting 38.1 percent (24-for-63) compared to the 46.8 percent by CUC. The Falcons struggled to get anything going from 3-point range, connecting on just 3-of-16 beyond the arc, Landgraf making two of those.
The Falcons committed 14 turnovers Tuesday, while they finished the night with only one steal as the Cougars gave the ball away just nine times. In their first two games (both wins), CUW combined for 26 steals, including 20 in last Monday's win over Beloit.
The Falcons will look to get back on track when they visit Aurora University for another NACC matchup Saturday afternoon. Tip-off between CUW and Aurora is set for 2 p.m. at Thornton Gymnasium in Aurora, Ill.