DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Alverno basketball team closed out the 2018 half of the season with a loss to the Simpson Storm by the score of 97-70 in the second and final game of the 2018 Loras Christmas Classic on Lillis Court.
Leading the way for Alverno on offense was senior Mackenzie Mathies, who tallied 24 points, just three shy of her season high. For the second time this season, Mathies also accumulated a season-best six three-pointers, as she attempted eight three-pointers on the game.
Netting a season-best 15 points was senior Justice Hawkins, who led the Inferno from the free-throw stripe by going 6-for-6 as the team went 15-for-18 on the afternoon. Senior Kendra Patterson was a point shy of tying her season-high as she amassed 14 points on the game.
Senior Karli Selear had six points, while sophomore Sara Redlin added six off the bench. Sophomore Kailey Kennow also notched five off the bench, with all five of her shots coming from the free-throw line as she went 5-for-6 on the night.
Mathies also led Alverno with seven rebounds, while Selear was second as she ripped down six caroms. Patterson notched five rebounds, while senior Dani Hood added three rebounds on the game.
Hawkins led the Inferno with three steals, while Patterson had a game-high seven assists while Hawkins added four helpers of her own.
Both teams got off to a slow start as Simpson converted the first basket of the night 47 seconds into the contest. The Storm made it 4-0 before Alverno notched its first basket of the night at the 6:58 mark on a jumper by Selear. Simpson jumped ahead by an 11-3 margin before Mathies connected on her first three-pointer of the night to trim the lead to 11-6 with 4:23 to go in the opening stanza.
Mathies continued to will the Inferno onward as she connected her torrid start by knocking down two more three-pointers. Patterson connected on a jumper off a steal by Hood to send the teams into the second quarter separated by just one possession at 19-16 in favor of the Storm.
Simpson opened the second quarter on an 18-2 run and saw its lead swell to 37-18, Patterson put an end to the run with a jumper at the 4:11 mark before Simpson closed out the half on a 13-8 run to take a 50-28 lead into the intermission.
Mathies opened the scoring in the second half with a layup to trim the lead down to 20, before Hawkins and Mathies drilled back-to-back three pointers to get the lead down to 16 at 56-40. Hawkins and Mathies went back-to-back from deep again a few possessions later, but Simpson continued to keep the Inferno at a sizeable distance on the scoreboard.
Alverno entered the fourth quarter trailing 75-52 before the Storm opened the period on an 8-2 run to take a 29-point lead at 83-54. Hawkins connected on a three-pointer that was answered by a three-pointer by the Storm.
The Inferno attempted to chip away at the lead but it was not enough, as Alverno's scoring was capped off by the second of Redlin's two three-pointers on the game with 32 seconds remaining. Simpson added a last-second layup as the shot clock was set to expire to close out the scoring at 97-70.
Alverno (3-7, 2-3 NACC) wraps up non-conference play with a 1-4 record and will head into Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play the rest of the season. The Inferno will return home on Wednesday, January 2 to open up the 2019 half of the season, as Alverno welcomes Benedictine to Reiman Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. tip.