Defense leads Duhawks to semifinals
Wed, Feb. 23, 2011 - [Women's Basketball]

The Loras College women's basketball team advanced to the semifinals of the 2011 Iowa Conference women's basketball tournament with a low-scoring and sometimes sloppy win over Buena Vista, 51-42 on Tuesday night in the AWC.

Lindsey LaBadie provided the majority of the offense, scoring 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting. She added 10 rebounds to reach her third double-double of the season. Brit Kent added 11 points, knocking down two three pointers on 4-of-13 shooting.

Tuesday's game marks the fifth time this season Loras has kept an opponent in the 40's, and only Augustana made fewer field goals (14) than Buena Vista did last night (15). While Loras' 17 made field goals wasn't their season low, it also didn't keep them from the win column at home. They scored 25 points in the first half and 26 in the second half to reach their 51 - knocking down timely three-pointers and going 12-of-15 from the free throw line.

Buena Vista logged as many points in the second half (15) as they did turnovers, and made just 1-of-12 threes.

The teams were deadlocked at 37-37 halfway through the second half when Loras went on a 14-5 run to close out the game.

On the defensive end for the Duhawks, Niki Rivera had a season high seven steals and Melissa Herrmann blocked two shots. Sixteen of Buena Vista's 27 turnovers were the direct result of Duhawk steals.

The win moved Loras' all-time IIAC Tournament record to 9-9 and was their fifth win in a row.

The Duhawks will next face the #1 seed, Coe, on Thursday night in Cedar Rapids. Tipoff is 6:00 PM at Eby Fieldhouse. During the regular season, the Duhawks lost their game in Cedar Rapids 71-49, but answered with a 56-55 win in the AWC on February 9th. This will be the third meeting between the two teams in the Iowa Conference Tournament. In 2008-09 Loras won 53-51 and in 2005-06 Loras won 62-54. Both games were in Dubuque.

The Duhawks are 2-4 in IIAC semifinal games. Their last trip to the finals was in 2007 after winning their semifinal as the #2 seed over Simpson, eventually losing to Luther in the finals.