Wed, Feb. 22, 2012 - [Women's Basketball]
Wartburg 59, Loras 53 – OT
The Loras College women's basketball team's 2011-12 season come to an end in Waverly, Iowa on Tuesday night with a 59-53 loss to the #4-seeded Wartburg Knights. Loras led from the 16 minute mark of the first half until the first field goal of overtime – with the Knights tying the game twice in the second half.
The Duhawks were in front 10-5 after five minutes and a pair of 3-pointers by Brit Kent and Niki Rivera. Rachel Kerchefske's first half 3-pointer made it 17-10 and the Duhawks built their largest lead of the first half of eight points after Rivera made a shot in traffic with just under three minutes to play in the first half.
Five points in the final 60 seconds of the first half had the hosts back within two points as the teams broke for halftime with Loras in front 30-28. Each team knocked down 11 field goals in the first half. Five of Wartburg's baskets were from long distance, and the Duhawks weren't far behind with four of their own.
Both teams slowed down offensively in the second half and cooled off from behind the 3-point arch. Loras maintained a lead until the nine minute mark of the second half. After a five minute scoreless stretch by both teams with the Duhawks in front 40-38, the Knights tied the game at 40-40 on a pair of Terri Dirks free throws.
Layups by Lindsey LaBadie and Katie Langmeier had the Duhawks back in front by four points with five minutes to play. Abi Weidemann answered with a layup and free throw after a foul on Kelly Rogowski.
Niki Rivera put Loras back in the driver's seat with a 3-pointer with two minutes to go, but Weidemann returned to the free throw line and put the Knights back within two. Weidemann was whistled for a block on the Duhawks' ensuing possession, but Rogowski's first half of the 1-and-1. Leslie Wilson hit the biggest basket of the night for Wartburg when her layup in traffic went down to tie the game at 47-47.
After a timeout, Loras turned to their senior, LaBadie for the final shot of regulation. The Burlington, Wisconsin native threw up her game-winning attempt from the behind the 3-point line at the top of the key but missed the mark and the teams headed to overtime for the second time in 10 days in Waverly.
After a big 15-point first half and a scoreless second half, Wartburg's Stephanie Reiter set the tone for the extra period with a 3-pointer on the hosts first possession. Loras battled back and with a minute and a half to play Melissa Herrmann converted her seventh basket of the game and put the Duhawks in front at 53-52. It would be Loras' final points of the game. The Knights had two more 3-pointers left in the tank and scored the game's final seven points – including Weidemann's answer to Herrmann's layup with just over a minute to play.
Herrmann spread out her points over the 45 minutes, matching her season high of 16 and pulling down a career high 17 rebounds in the loss. Loras out-rebounded the Knights 46-32 and they pulled down an incredible 21 offensive rebounds as Wartburg struggled to rebound on their own end out of their zone defense. Rivera joined Herrmann in double figures with 11 points.
Tuesday's loss was Loras' third in overtime this year. Each came in the final three weeks of the season. The Duhawks close the year at 14-12 overall.
Wartburg advances to play top seeded Simpson College on Thursday in Indianola.
Senior Lindsey LaBadie wrapped up her productive career with eight points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals on 4-of-12 shooting.
"She's been the heart and soul of our team in a lot of ways," head coach Justin Heinzen said after the game. "Everyone sees what she does on the floor and on the stat sheet, but the program has benefited from what she does behind the scenes as well. Our chemistry was outstanding and Lindsey has led the way in establishing a newfound consistency for our program."
"She led us in minutes and we ask her to do a lot in her time on the floor. She's got a lot to be proud of – and we're certainly all proud of her."