MILWAUKEE – The Alverno basketball team closed out the home half of the 2018 season on Tuesday evening, falling to the Aurora Spartans by the score of 73-55 inside the Reiman Gymnasium.
Leading the charge offensively for the Inferno was senior Mackenzie Mathies, who tallied 14 points in the loss on six field goals. Senior Karli Selear also had double-figures in points and ended the game with a dozen points including a team-high five from the charity stripe.
Senior Kendra Patterson had a team-high seven rebounds and nine points, while classmate Justice Hawkins also had nine points to go along with three assists. Senior Dani Hood had seven points in the effort, while sophomore Kailey Kennow notched four points in 23 minutes while sophomore Sara Redlin had four rebounds in 18 minutes.
Aurora jumped out to a 14-2 lead in the opening quarter before Patterson connected on a jumper midway through the period. Hood followed with a layup to trim the deficit to eight before the Spartans answered back with a jumper on the ensuing possession. Patterson followed with another jump shot, and then after an Aurora free throw, Patterson connected on a three-pointer with under three remaining.
The Spartans poured on the next 10 points before Alverno got back on the scoreboard on a Selear three-pointer with 47 seconds to go to cap off the scoring in the opening half as Aurora led 27-14.
The second quarter saw both teams struggle from the field in the early possessions before Mathies connected on a basket to trim the deficit to 31-18 with 5:11 to go in the half. A 6-0 run by the Spartans was answered by three straight from the free throw line by Alverno. However, Aurora closed out the half on a 7-2 run to take a 44-23 lead into the locker room.
After the break, Selear got the scoring started with a layup that was quickly answered by an Aurora layup. Selear and Mathies went back-to-back from the field before Selear added another free throw and Hood drilled a three ball to cap off the 8-0 run by the Inferno. Aurora ended the quarter on a 17-5 rally to take a 63-38 advantage into the final 10 minutes of play.
The Inferno yielded the opening four points of the fourth quarter before Hood connected on a layup with 83 seconds gone by. Selear followed with a pair of free throws but the Spartans answered with a layup to regain a 27-point lead at 69-42. Mathies made a layup and Hawkins added a free throw, before Mathies made another from the field to pull Alverno within 22 midway through the quarter. The Inferno were only able to get back within 16 at 71-55 before Aurora capped off the scoring with a layup in the final minute.
Alverno (3-5, 2-3 NACC) will be off for the next nine days and will resume game action on Friday, December 28 in the opening contest of the Loras Christmas Classic in Dubuque, Iowa. The Inferno will open with Loras at 8 p.m. on Friday, before taking on Simpson at 2 p.m. on Saturday.