MILWAUKEE – Concordia University Wisconsin's women's basketball team fell victim to a big first half by Wisconsin Lutheran College as it saw its 2012-2013 season come to a close with a 75-52 loss in the Northern Athletics Conference Championship Game Saturday night at the Recreation Complex.
The top-seeded Warriors scored the game's first six points and built its lead up to as many as 25 points in the first half as they took a 42-19 lead into halftime. That deficit would prove to be too much for the Falcons to overcome as the closest CUW got in the second half was 16 points.
Junior Katie Luethe (Oshkosh, Wis.) finished with a team-high 17 points, 11 of those coming in the second half. Senior Brittany Zietlow (Oak Creek, Wis.) added 11 points and freshman Megan Coenen (Green Bay, Wis.) scored 10 for the Falcons.
WLC was led by Shavon Dillon, as she netted 17 points, 15 coming before halftime. The Warriors first-half shooting was a big reason they maintained control in the opening 20 minutes as they connected on 58.6 percent (17-for-29) of their shots. Kristen Schulz added 16 points for WLC.
"We just didn't play very well in the biggest game of the year and give credit to WLC because they played a strong game," head coach Stacy Brunner-Jones said. "They will represent our conference well in the NCAA Tournament.
"Our student section was incredible tonight and it was great to see them come out and support us," Brunner-Jones said. "We thank all of our fans that came out and cheered us on."
The Falcons battled WLC in the second half as each team scored 33 points over the final 20 minutes. Luethe poured in nine of the team's first 11 points after halftime. The Falcons trimmed the Warriors lead to 54-38 after a Luethe jumper with 8:36 remaining in the game. A 3-point play by the Warriors Schulz followed by a Rachel Hoft 3-pointer put Wisconsin Lutheran up 60-38 as it went on to the 75-22 win.
The Falcons played a much stronger second half which was evident by the 44.4 shooting percentage (12-for-27) they posted after the break. Luethe, Zietlow and Coenen combined for 26 points in the second half.
The final buzzer marked the end of two brilliant four-year careers for Falcon seniors Zietlow and Tiffany Hendrickson (Ingleside, Ill.). The duo was a part of two NAC North Division championship teams (2009-2010 and 2012-2013) and posted a 71-39 record over their careers, winning at least 16 games in every season. Hendrickson netted her 1,000th career point this year, finishing her time wit the Falcons with 1,081. Zietlow led the conference in assists in 2012-2013, dishing out 132 and averaging 4.7 per game.
"Tiffany and Brittany had outstanding four-year careers for our program," said Brunner-Jones. "I would like to thank them for all the hard work they put in for our team."
CUW concludes its season with a 19-9 overall record. They captured the NAC North Division crown with a 14-4 conference mark.