MEQUON, Wis. – Lakeland University used a 10-4 run over the final four minutes to edge the Concordia University Wisconsin Women's Basketball team in a thrilling NACC Tournament Championship Game Saturday afternoon. The Falcons erased a 12-point deficit in the second half and led by four with 4:16 left on the clock, but Lakeland finished strong to secure the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
- Final Score: Lakeland 64, Concordia Wisconsin 60
- Location: R. John Buuck Field House (Mequon, Wis.)
- Records: Concordia Wisconsin 22-5; Lakeland 20-7
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Falcons, who trailed 31-22 at halftime, fell behind by a game-high 12 points with 3:33 left in the third period (44-32). CUW would begin its comeback efforts at that point, closing the quarter on 10-2 run to cut the Muskies advantage to 46-42. Junior Brianna Wagner (Fond du Lac, Wis.) scored the final six of the Falcons points in the quarter to spark the rally.
- CUW would continue its run to start the fourth, and again it was Wagner leading the way. She began the period with a lay through contact for a three-point play and added a shot from 3-point range to bring the Falcons within a point. However, the Muskies Kayla Clark made sure Lakeland would stay on top for the moment with a pair of 3-point buckets of her own.
- Trailing 54-50, the Falcons received a layup from sophomore Marciarae' Harmon and two free throws from Wagner to tie the game at 54-54. The Falcons would then go up 58-54 thanks to a pair of free throws from senior Taylor DeLong (Milwaukee, Wis.) and a layup from junior Audrey Scharmer (Winona, Minn.). The lead was the first for CUW since early in the second period.
- Lakeland would make the last run, scoring the next seven points for a 61-58 advantage. The Falcons cut Lakeland's lead to one, but the Muskies made enough free throws down the stretch to capture the tournament title.
- The opening half was a tale of two quarters for the Falcons, who built a 16-14 lead after 10 minutes of play behind six points each by Scharmer and DeLong. CUW was outscored 17-6 in the second quarter, resulting in the nine-point halftime deficit.
- The 3-point shot proved to be a big difference in the game with Lakeland connecting on 9-of-20 shots from downtown, while the Falcons made just 1-of-10 from deep.
- Wagner led CUW in scoring with 18 points, 14 of those coming in the second half. Scharmer finished the contest with 16 points and a game-best 13 rebounds, while DeLong scored 16 points. Harmon dished out a game-best six assists.
- The Muskies received a game-high 19 points from Miranda Jacobson, who netted three shots from deep. Clark added 11, while Rachel Stankevich scored 10 points with eight rebounds.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The loss for the Falcons was just their third against a Division III opponent this season and the first to a school not named Benedictine. CUW is 22-5 and two of their losses came against teams not in the NCAA Division III.
- This was the Falcons sixth appearance in a NACC Championship game and dropped their record to 2-4 in such contests.