Second Half Drought Costs Knights
NEW ULM, Minn. – The MLC women’s basketball team was unable to hold onto a first half lead that reached as high as 17 points in a 60-58 loss to UM-Morris Friday night.
The Knights controlled the game in the first half with a stifling defense and efficient shooting. MLC shot 47.8 percent for the half on the offensive end, while holding the Cougars to 25.9 percent shooting on the other end. Both teams struggled taking care of the ball, combing for 25 first half turnovers as the Knights went into the half with a 31-19 lead.
MLC continued to control the game in the early moments of the second half and led 45-35 with 11:12 remaining, but went into a dry spell that allowed the Cougars to take control of the game.
From the 11:12 mark in the second half until the 4:54 mark, the Knights were outscored 16-0, and went from a ten-point lead to trailing 51-45. They cut the deficit several times down the stretch and had an opportunity at several attempts in the final seconds to tie or win the game, but shots from Kadie Drake (Adrian, Mich./Madison HS) and Sarah Free (Plover, Wis./LPS) didn’t fall.
Free finished with a team high 19 points on 7-9 shooting from the field and 3-3 shooting from beyond the three-point arc. Erica Babinec (Onalaska, Wis./Luther) joined her in double figures with 16 points and five steals.
With the loss, MLC dropped to 8-13 overall and 4-7 in the UMAC, while UMM improved to 15-5 on the year and 10-1 in conference action.
The Knights will return to action on Saturday, February 13, when they play host to Presentation. The game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.[BOX SCORE]