MILWAUKEE – The Alverno basketball team registered its first win of the 2018-19 season and the first collegiate coaching win for first-year head coach Nancy Osborne as the Inferno picked up the 64-50 victory over the Crown Storm on Friday night at the Reiman Gymnasium.
Osborne becomes Alverno's fourth head coach to record a victory in the team's 19th season of history, as the three-year assistant was promoted into the head coaching role in early March.
Alverno was led by senior Mackenzie Mathies, who tallied a team-best 19 points on five field goals and seven free throws. Mathies moved into sixth place on the all-time scoring list in her 79th career contest as she now has 836 career points.
Senior Karli Selear was second on the team with 16 points as she led the team with eight free throws made and was 4-of-9 from the field. Senior Dani Hood netted 11 points, and added a team-best five assists.
Senior Justice Hawkins had seven points including one of Alverno's three three-point baskets on the night. Senior Kendra Patterson rounded out the Inferno starting lineup with six points and had a pair of assists. Sophomore Kailey Kennow added five points off the bench, while sophomore Sara Redlin played seven minutes and had one steal while freshman Dede Kaid made her collegiate debut and played over a minute.
Recording her first double-double of the season was Mathies, who pulled down a team-best 11 rebounds to go along with her 19 points, while she also had one block on the contest. Hood added eight rebounds, while Patterson had six of her own on the defensive glass.
Alverno jumped out to a quick two-point lead as Selear connected on a layup just 46 seconds into the contest. Hood followed with a fast-break layup and connected on the ensuing and-one free throw to put Alverno up by five to open the game. Crown got on the board with a layup to break the opening run by the Inferno.
Selear had three free throws that sank to the bottom of the cylinder but in between the Storm registered a three-pointer. Crown scored the next four points to take a 9-8 lead at the 2:17 mark of the opening quarter. Hood made a pair from the stripe to give Alverno the one-point lead once again. The Storm notched the last point of the quarter as the two sides were even at 10 through the first 10 minutes.
Patterson got Alverno going to open the second quarter, but that was answered by a 9-0 Crown run to put the Storm ahead by a 19-12 score. Patterson connected on a layup to end the Storm rally, followed by a three-pointer by Mathies and another layup by Mathies to knot the score at 19.
Hood scored the next basket followed by another layup from Kailey Kennow to put the Inferno head by four with six seconds to go in the opening half. The Storm connected on a last-second layup to send the teams into the locker room with the Inferno leading by a 23-21 score.
To open the second half Crown tied the score for the fifth time on the night, with 39 seconds gone by. Alverno got its offense started again as Hawkins made her first basket of the night with a layup, followed by a pair of free throws by Mathies to give the Inferno a four-point lead.
The Storm wrestled the lead back and took a six-point lead in the closing minutes of the third quarter at 35-29, with 3:37 to go. Selear responded with back-to-back layups followed by a pair at the stripe from Hood to even the score once again. After a Crown layup, Alverno closed out the quarter on a seven-point run to take a 42-37 lead into the final 10 minutes.
Crown opened the fourth quarter with the first basket, but Selear responded with a pair from the free-throw line, followed by one free throw from the Storm. Alverno continued to take advantage of Crown's fouls as Patterson converted a layup, followed by a layup by Hood to give Alverno an eight-point lead.
The largest lead of the game for Alverno came at 13 points as Hawkins converted a layup followed by a smooth three-pointer from the left elbow with 5:06 left in regulation. Crown ended Alverno's nine-point run with a layup, but the Inferno got two more points on a pair from the line by Selear to give the Inferno a 13-point lead once again.
Mathies was fouled and made both from the line, followed by 1-of-2 from the stripe by Selear to push Alverno ahead by 16 with 3:39 left at 58-42. Mathies put Alverno ahead by 19 as she connected on a three-pointer from the top of the arc, before adding another free throw to increase the lead to 20 at 62-42.
Crown closed out the game on an 8-2 run but it was not enough as the Inferno secured the victory.
Alverno (1-1) will head into league competition on Saturday, December 1, when the Inferno visit Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference newcomer Illinois Tech for a 2 p.m. start in Chicago.