Viking women in MWC Tournament for first time since 2002 -dlh

Andy York

The Lawrence University women’s basketball team by virtue of their win over Beloit last week clinched a spot in the Midwest Conference Tournament for the first time since 2002. The Vikings’ loss at St. Norbert last Saturday gave St. Norbert the right to host the tournament Feb. 25 and 26 in De Pere.
The win over Beloit was on senior night, and the seniors played a large roll in LU’s victory. The Vikings jumped out early on the Buccaneers. With ten minutes to go in the first half, the game was tied at 16. Over the next ten minutes, LU would outscore Beloit 26-13, and take a 13-point lead at the half, 42-29.
The second half began with a valiant effort by Beloit to get back in the game. They went on a 17-4 run and trimmed the LU lead to 48-46. However that’s as close at Beloit would get, as seniors Felice Porrata and Jen Jetel led the Vikings charge. Porrata finished with a game-high 19 points, and Jetel added nine as the Vikings triumphed 88-67. Claire Getzoff added 15, and Emily Stengel added 10 to aid the Vikings’ cause.
With the win, LU clinched one of the four tournament spots, and had a chance to control their own destiny against the Green Knights. Unfortunately for LU, their destiny was not a pretty one.
The Vikings and Green Knights faced off last Saturday in a ballet for first place in the MWC. The first half was an ugly one for both teams, as made baskets were at a premium. The Green Knights shot 50 percent in the first half, but only shot the ball 20 times. The Vikings shot 24 times, but only shot a dismal 20 percent in the first half. In a low scoring defensive affair, St. Norbert led 26-18 at the half.
The second half was not much nicer to the Vikings. They shot well, but it wasn’t enough to get over the hump. Whenever the Vikings would get close, the Green Knights would go on another run, and put the game out of reach. St. Norbert won 62-49 and clinched first place in the MWC, and the right to host the conference tournament. The conference champion will be crowned by the winner of the tournament, so St. Norbert did not win the title as yet.
The Vikings are in, and could claim the second, third, or fourth seed depending on the results of their last regular season game tomorrow at Carroll. With a win, LU will claim the second seed, and will either play Ripon or Lake Forest. With a loss, and a Lake Forest win, the Vikings will take the fourth seed, and will play host St. Norbert. Game time at Carroll is 2 p.m. Look for a full MWC tournament preview in next week’s ****Lawrentian****.