LU women back in the hunt

Carla Zarecki had a great weekend for the Vikings. She scored in double figures in both the game against Knox and the game against Monmouth.
Andy York

Carla Zarecki had a great weekend for the Vikings. She scored in double figures in both the game against Knox and the game against Monmouth. (Ariel)

The Lawrence University women’s basketball team got back in the middle of the hunt for the final playoff spot in the MWC with two big wins over Knox and Monmouth this weekend, and then lost a heartbreaking game to St. Norbert in double overtime.The Vikings came out with intensity and took an early lead against Knox last Friday. The Vikings didn’t shoot very well, but their tough defense made Knox shoot even worse. The Vikings took a 29-22 lead into the half. Then in the second half, the Vikings offense exploded. They would go on to outscore the Prairie Fire 35-18 in the second half, and would cruise to an easy 64-40 victory. Felice Porrata led the Vikings with 18, and Carla Zarecki added 13 for LU.

Saturday afternoon, the Vikings turned it around. In the first half they came out blazing hot and took over the game and never relinquished possession of it. They shot nearly 50 percent in the first half and would take a 39-18 lead. The second half was a see-saw affair and saw both teams going back and forth, but Monmouth could never get anywhere close to Lawrence’s massive lead, and the Vikings cruised again, 62-48. Porrata again led the Vikings with 18, and Zarecki added 10.

That game set up the showdown last Tuesday night between LU and St. Norbert. The Vikings hadn’t beaten St. Norbert since 1999, but lost a heartbreaker earlier this year by two points. This game showed it was going to be good from the start, and it was not to disappoint. The Vikings came out early in the first half and showed they weren’t going to sit down to the Green Knights. The Vikings took an early lead, and both teams looked a bit sloppy, as the first half was very low scoring. The Vikings took a 26-24 lead at the half.

The second half was much more offensive. Both teams came out firing on all cylinders. The Green Knights would jump out to a six point lead, but in the last two minutes LU would come storming back. The Vikings had several key baskets from Claire Getzoff, and actually had a chance to win the game when a jump ball was called with only a few seconds left. The shot at the buzzer by Getzoff was off the rim, and the game went into overtime.

In the first overtime, LU seemed to dominate at first. The Vikings had themselves a six point lead, and looked as if they were going to win, but the Green Knights came storming back with several key baskets from Kelly Krombach, and then a key foul called on Jen Jetel with 2.4 seconds to go sent Abby Johnson to the free throw line to shoot two with a one point LU lead. She missed the first one, but would gain her composure and hit the second to tie the game again. Once again LU had a shot at the buzzer, but this one was nowhere near close, and the game went into double overtime.

In the second overtime, LU looked tired and sluggish and didn’t seem to be able to keep up with the Green Knights. The Vikings had a chance to tie the game again with fifteen seconds on the clock, but a Porrata jumper ran all the way inside the rim before coming out, and the Green Knights got the rebound, and hit the free throws to ice the game, and take the win 84-80. The Vikings played a magnificent game, but they just didn’t have the energy to pull it off in the end. Porrata once again led the Vikings with 23. Getzoff was a close second with 21, and Zarecki added 12. Krombach, who was one of five Green Knights in double figures, led St. Norbert. LU is next in action tonight and tomorrow. The Vikings play Lake Forest tonight at 5:30, and Illinois College tomorrow at 2:00, both games in Alexander Gym, and both games can be heard on 91.1 WLFM, or via webcast.