Alverno Defense Keys Victory Over Concordia Wisconsin
MEQUON, Wis. -- Alverno College trailed host Concordia University Wisconsin for more than 38 minutes of Wednesday night's regular season finale, but a stellar defensive performance in the second half secured a 50-45 victory by the visiting Inferno for the season sweep of the Falcons.
Kayla Kennedy scored a fast-break layup with 2:02 left to deadlock the game at 42 apiece for the game's first tie since the opening tipoff, and after a fifth-straight defensive stop by Alverno, Devon Gorman scored the go-ahead basket at the 1:23 mark.
Alverno then made four free throws to secure the lead and eventually the victory over the Northern Athletics Conference North Division champion.
A Falcon 3-pointer in the final seconds of the game ended Concordia Wisconsin's five-minute scoring drought for the final five-point spread.
"Our team played so well down the stretch defensively," Alverno head coach Brad Duckworth said. "I have so much respect for Concordia Wisconsin, but our players just seemed to have the answer tonight."
Alverno (16-9, 13-5 NAC) trailed by as many as 10 points and was down 25-20 at halftime, but held the Falcons (17-8, 14-4) to under 29 percent shooting in the game.
The Inferno made 32 percent of its field goals and committed a season-low six turnovers, while its defense forced the Falcons into 15 miscues.
Gorman and Ashley Berry each notched a double-double scoring 15 points apiece with 11 and 10 rebounds for the Inferno. Kennedy chipped in eight points and eight boards, while Kristen Speerschneider added seven points and a game-high seven assists.
Tiffany Hendrickson led the Falcons with nine points, as no Falcon player reached double-figures.
"To hold them to 45 and only have six turnovers is and indicator we might be peaking at the right time," Duckworth said.
Fifth-seeded Alverno begins postseason play on Saturday in a NAC tournament quarterfinal at fourth-seeded Benedictine University at 7 p.m. in Lisle, Ill.