MILWAUKEE, Wis. – A turnover and a failed attempt to get a shot off in the final six-plus seconds cost Concordia University Wisconsin on Wednesday night, as MSOE earned a 55-53 victory. The decision was important for both teams in regards to Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference seeding for the tournament just over a week away.
After the Raiders' Megan Kroll made 1-of-2 free throws with 27 seconds remaining in the game, the Falcons had time to at least tie the game but turned the ball over. On the ensuing inbounds MSOE was fouled and missed its bonus free throw. CUW then had just under seven seconds to go the length of the court and get a 3-point shot off and win the game, but MSOE slowed them down enough to run the clock out. This all occurred after the Falcons fought back from an 11-point deficit with 7:48 to play in the game.
The loss drops CUW to fourth place in the NACC standings with two games to play and a half game behind MSOE. They have clinched at least the fourth seed and a home game in the tournament quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 2 pm.
The Falcons turned the ball over 18 times, but compensated for those errors with 13 offensive rebounds which were converted into 17 second chance points. They also held a 32-24 rebounding advantage, as statistics were identical in almost every category.
Junior Madelyn Landgraf (Elkhart Lake, Wis.) led all scorers with 18 points, including an 8-of-9 performance at the free throw line, to go along with four assists. Freshman Brianna Wagner (Fond du Lac, Wis.) recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while away rejecting three shots and assisting on two field goals. Junior Megan Coenen (Green Bay, Wis.) added 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Holly Denfeld led the Raiders with a double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds, to go along with two steals. Megan Kroll finished with 14 points, seven rebounds (four offensive), four assists and two steals. Margaret Pugh and Shaylan Reardon combined for 16 points as starters.
MSOE looked like it was going to run away with the game in the first half, after leading by as many as 18 points with 5:30 to play before the intermission. They shot 48.1 percent in the first 20 minutes and forced CUW into 11 turnovers.
The Falcons slowly chipped away at the Raiders lead and got to within 11 points with 7:48 to play in the game. From then on they compiled a 15-6 scoring run to give themselves a chance at a buzzer beater. CUW's Landgraf made a layup to give the visitors a one-point lead with 1:33 to play, but it was short-lived as MSOE responded with a Reardon jumper 27 seconds later.
CUW returns to the court on Friday for a 7 pm NACC contest against Alverno College inside the R. John Buuck Field House.