Defense, Babinec Key Upset at Northwestern
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The women's basketball team upset Northwestern 71-61 Saturday after a terrific defensive performance, as well as a strong offensive showing from Erica Babinec (Onalaska, Wis./Luther).
The Knights frustrated the Eagles throughout the game, forcing 23 turnovers and allowing Northwestern to shoot just 31.7 percent from the floor. MLC also held down the UMAC's leading scorer, Katie DeWitt, who finished the game just 4-25 from the floor and 1-9 from beyond the three-point arc. In the second half, DeWitt went 1-13 from the floor.
On the offensive end, the Knights got a strong performance from Babinec, who had a game-high 27 points. Babinec was aggressive throughout the game and finished with 18 free throw attempts, making 13 of them. She also played a strong all-around game, grabbing ten rebounds, dishing out six assists and swiping four steals.
MLC fell behind early in the game, but finished off the first half with an 11-2 run that erased a 25-19 deficit and took them into halftime with a 30-27 lead.
The second half was controlled by the Knights throughout, as they never gave back the lead. After the Eagles tied the score at 32-32 in the opening minutes after the break, the Knights went on a 16-2 run over the next four minutes to bust the game open. The run was keyed by Babinec and Katherine Kogler (Fallbrook, Calif./CLHS), who combined to score 13 of the 16 points.
Over the final 13 minutes, the Eagles made several runs, cutting the MLC lead to five points three different times, but they were never able to close the gap any further.
Kogler joined Babinec in double figures with 17 points, 13 of which came in the second half. Carrie Fritzler (Deford, Mich./MLS) and Emily Boldt (Mukwonago, Wis./LPS) came up big down low for the Knights, combining for 17 points and grabbing ten and nine rebounds, respectively. Boldt also anchored the defense with four blocks.
With the win, MLC improved to 8-12 overall and 4-6 in the UMAC, while Northwestern dropped to 12-8 on the season and 7-3 in league play.
MLC will return to action on Friday, February 12, when it hosts UM-Morris. The game is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.[BOX SCORE]