Big Frist Half from Free Not Enough in Loss to Viterbo
NEW ULM, Minn. - Sarah Free (Plover, Wis./LPS) scored 20 of the Knights 26 points in the first half, and finished with a team-high 24 points, but it wasn't enough to slow down Viterbo in a 71-61 loss Thursday night.
Free scored the Knights first 13 points of the game and 20 of their first 22 to keep them in the game in the first half. She went 7-10 from the floor in the half, 3-5 from beyond the three-point line and 3-5 from the foul line, but the rest of the team was unable to muster enough help, as the team went 9-32 from the floor as they went into the half trailing 42-26.
The Knights came out strong in the second half on both ends, starting the half on a 13-3 run to cut the deficit to six as they held the V-Hawks without a field goal until the 12:45 mark.
With Viterbo focusing on Free, the Knights found driving lanes to the basket in the second half, and used them to get to the foul line 22 times as the game got more physical underneath. Katherine Kobler (Fallbrook, Calif./CLHS) scored all 14 of her points for the game in second half and went 8-10 from the charity stripe in the half.
Neither team was able to shoot a high percentage in the second half, as the MLC defense held the V-Hawks to 39 percent shooting shooting, while the Knights shot 30 percent. The two teams did take advantage of the foul line, though, as they combined to shoot 45 free throws in the second half. While Viterbo would only make 11 of its 23 attempts from the line, it scored enough to hold off the Knights.
Erica Babinec (Onalaska, Wis./Luther) joined Kogler and Free in double figures with 13 points and also added game highs with six assists and six steals. Emily Boldt (Mukwonago, Wis./LPS) grabbed 11 rebounds and finished with three blocks, while Carrie Fritzler (Deford, Mich./MLS) added three blocks of her own.
With the loss, MLC dropped to 0-8 overall on the season, while Viterbo improved to 4-6. The Knights will return to action on Saturday, December 12, when they host Waldorf for a 3 p.m. contest.[BOX SCORE]