Slow Start Dooms Green Knights in NCAA Loss at Carthage

From Sports Information Director, March 7, 2014 | Women's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

KENOSHA - St. Norbert College fell behind early and couldn't recover in a 60-51 loss to Carthage College in a NCAA Division III Tournament Central Regional first-round game at Tarble Arena.

Carthage (25-3), ranked No. 9 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first 3 minutes 15 seconds of the game, with the Lady Reds scoring on five of their first six possessions. The Green Knights (21-5) remained undaunted in their 11th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance, going on a 15-8 run to get back into the game to trail 20-15.

Stephanie Weigman hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 18-11. Following a basket by Carthage's Stephanie Kuzmanic, Brianna Byrne hit a pair of free throws and Heidi Van Sistine converted a layup to get to within 20-15 with 10:27 left in the first half. The Green Knights hung in that range the rest of the half, getting as close as three points, before trailing 32-27 at intermission.

St. Norbert trailed 34-30 with 17:44 left when Van Sistine split a pair of free throws, but Carthage went on a 6-0 run over the next 3:53 to take a 40-30 lead with 13:51 to go on two free throws by Kuzmanic.

The Green Knights got to within eight points five times the rest of the game, but couldn't get closer. Morgan Heim's two free throws with 4:45 to go cut the deficit to 51-43, but Kristi Schmidt's conventional three-point play for the Lady Reds on their next possession sealed the win.

Byrne led St. Norbert with 16 points, while Jill Kleiman added 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Van Sistine chipped in with eight points. The Green Knights shot 40 percent (18-for-45) from the floor, but were just 6-for-24 (25 percent) from the floor in the second half.

Kuzmanic led Carthage with 25 points, shooting 10-for-18 from the field, and added seven assists and five rebounds. Michelle Wenzel added 10 points and seven rebounds. The Lady Reds shot 42.1 percent (24-for-57) from the floor and had only eight turnovers. Carthage also had a 34-32 rebounding advantage.