Knights Advance to Championship Game
NEW ULM, Minn. - The MLC women's basketball team advanced to the championship game of the UMAC Tournament with a 69-60 win over Bethany Lutheran College in the semifinal.
The first half was an up-tempo game, with both teams having some success on the offensive end. MLC shot 43.3 percent from the field compared to 40 percent for Bethany in the half. Alex Anthon scored a game-high 11 first half points.
The Vikings made a run to start the second, cutting the MLC lead to two at 44-42 with 14 minutes to play in the half, and the Knights found themselves in foul trouble and in the penalty very early.
MLC responded with a 9-0 run, with Emily Boldt a key contributor. Boldt scored four points and blocked two shots in the stretch, and would finish the game with five blocks. She also helped hold BLC scoring leader Jessica Englund to a 4-17 night from the field.
Bethany hung around, but was never able to cut the MLC lead under five points the rest of the way, while MLC was able to stretch the lead as big as 15 with two minutes to play before closing out the win.
Anthon finished with a team-high 17 points on 6-7 shooting from the field and 5-7 shooting from the foul line, and also grabbed seven rebounds. Amanda Burk was a force throughout the game down low, scoring 15 points.
Erica Babinec joined them in double figures with 12 points, and also grabbed a team-best 11 rebounds. Those rebounds were enough for Babinec to set the new career record for rebounds at MLC with 664, surpassing the old record of 662 held by her sister, Emma. The rebound record gives Babinec four career records at MLC (points, steals, rebounds and free throws made).
With the win, MLC improved to 19-7 on the season, while Bethany finished its season with a record of 8-18.
MLC will now move on to the UMAC Championship game on Saturday, February 25, against Minnesota-Morris. The two teams tied for the regular season conference championship, but the Knights received the top seed because of a coin flip. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.