MILWAUKEE -- Devon Gorman took a charge with 12.6 seconds remaining and then sealed the Alverno College victory over visiting Concordia University Chicago with a pair of free throws tonight in Reiman Gymnasium for the 67-63 final.
"Sixteen-of-19 from the free-throw line, that's the difference in the game," Alverno head coach Brad Duckworth said. "When you're 9-of-21 from 3, and 16-of-19 at the free-throw line, you've got a good chance to win."
After the lead exchanged sides 12 times, the Inferno (7-6, 4-2 Northern Athletics Conference) pulled in front for good on a Kayla Kennedy (8 points, 3 assists) jumper with seven minutes to play.
The Inferno increased its lead to five on a pair of Jamie Hoernke free throws, but the Cougars (2-10, 2-4 NAC) clawed their way back to cut the lead to two points, on two occasions, in the final 91 seconds.
After a timeout by the Cougars, Concordia's Krystyna Rickett drove down the middle of the lane before Gorman stepped in for the game-saving defensive play.
Gorman finished the game with eight points on a perfect 6-of-6 performance from the free-throw line, added six rebounds and a game-high four steals, while Hoernke added nine points and six rebounds.
Hoernke scored seven of the Inferno's final nine points as she made 5-of-6 free-throw attempts in the final five minutes of the contest.
The Inferno's guards directed the 3-point assault, as Anna Boteva and Kristen Speerschneider combined for a 9-of-19 performance from long range. Each guard tied for a game-high 18 points, as Boteva tied her career-high with six 3s and Speerschneider made all five of her free-throw tries to go along with her team-leading six assists.
The Cougars also shot well tonight as they made 8-of-21 3-pointers, 7-of-8 free throws and 24-of-50 field goals, but committed three more turnovers and got to the line less than half as much as the Inferno. Rickett led the visitors with 16 points and nine assists.
"I'm extremely happy with the win," said Duckworth, "but we draw a line in the sand on the defensive end, and I'm disappointed with our defense. Credit goes to Concordia, they made tough shots, but we have to be better defensively."
Alverno has yet to put a pair of consecutive wins (or losses) together this season, but will look to snap the pattern on Saturday. The Inferno, seeking its second-straight win, hosts Aurora University at 7 p.m.