MILWAUKEE – The Alverno basketball team was trailed by just four in a high-scoring first quarter of action, but were unable to keep up with the balanced attack of the Concordia Wisconsin Falcons on Thursday evening from inside Reiman Gymnasium. The Falcons picked up the 78-55 conference victory heading into weekend competition.
Three starters were in double figures in scoring on the night led by senior Mackenzie Mathies with a team-best 17 points. Senior Karli Selear was second on the team with 13 points, while senior Justice Hawkins added 11 points on the game. Senior Dani Hood had a strong all-around game as she had seven points to go along with her team-best eight rebounds.
Making her first start of the season, sophomore Kailey Kennow played 25 minutes and registered seven points on the game. Sophomore Sara Redlin was on the court for 23 minutes and recorded a pair of rebounds and one assist. Making her long-awaited collegiate debut was Brittney Hondel, who played five minutes after battling injuries throughout her first year-plus with the Inferno.
The Inferno trailed by four to open the game but made back-to-back layups as Selear and Hawkins evened the game at four. After a Falcon layup, Kennow converted to tie the game before Mathies scored to give Alverno its first lead of the night at 8-6 with 5:38 to go in the opening period. Mathies scored again to give the home team a four-point lead before Concordia ended Alverno's run with a three-point basket.
Alverno took back a three-point advantage with a pair at the charity stripe from Kennow, before Hood laid the ball in to put Alverno up by five. However the Falcons connected on another three-pointer to end the brief Inferno burst. Mathies made a layup, but Concordia scored the final eight points of the quarter included back-to-back three-pointers to take a 20-16 lead into the second quarter.
Concordia Wisconsin put together a big scoring period in the second quarter as they outscored Alverno by a 21-9 margin to take a 41-25 lead into the intermission. During the second quarter, Mathies scored eight of Alverno's nine points with Hood connected on one free throw to round out the Inferno scoring.
The third quarter was also in favor of the Falcons, as Concordia Wisconsin outscored Alverno by an 18-12 margin. In the third it was Selear to lead the way with seven points, including four free throws; while Hawkins had five points with three coming from the line.
Alverno went into the fourth quarter trailing by a 59-37 margin before the Falcons added to its lead with a quarter-opening layup. Hawkins made two from the line before Concordia added another three points. Mathies answered on the next possession with a three-pointer of her own before the Falcons made a layup as the two sides played evenly through the final 10 minutes of regulation.
Concordia Wisconsin was able to outscore Alverno by just one in the final stanza, 19-18; however, Alverno had a very balanced offensive attack. Selear, Hood and Hawkins each had four points while Mathies and Kennow each scored three points to close out the scoring on the night for the Inferno.
Alverno (3-11, 2-7 NACC) will be on the road for its next two games beginning with Rockford on Saturday afternoon for a 2 p.m. start. The team will then continue its Illinois swing next Wednesday on the road at Concordia Chicago at 7 p.m.