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St. Norbert Falls in Wartburg Tournament Title Game

From Sports Information Director, December 30, 2009 | Women's Basketball
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

WAVERLY, Iowa - Shorthanded St. Norbert College couldn't hold an early lead and dropped a heartbreaking 53-50 decision to host Wartburg College at the AmericInn Holiday Classic at Levick Arena.

The Green Knights, ranked 23rd by, fell to 6-2 on the season. Wartburg won its sixth straight game to improve to 7-4.

St. Norbert held leads of 13-0 and eventually 24-3 in the game's first 11 minutes. The Green Knights made 10 of their first 15 shots to build the early lead. Wartburg crawled to within striking distance at halftime to trail just 29-17 at the break.

The Green Knights led by 11 points at 38-27 with 13:05 left to play before the Knights mounted their comeback. Wartburg went on a 12-2 run to pull within 40-39 with 9:13 left, but St. Norbert did lead 48-43 with 3:47 to go. Consecutive 3-pointers by Wartburg's Samantha Harrington and Abbey Hempen put the host up 49-48. Hempen then was fouled on a 3-pointer and made all three free throws with 1:46 to go for a 52-48 lead. St. Norbert wouldn't get closer than two in the final minute, and potential game-tying 3-pointers by Krista Pelky and Stefanie Bunday in the final 10 seconds were off the mark.

St. Norbert shot 40 percent from the floor, making 20 of 50 shots. Emily Otzelberger led St. Norbert with 12 points, while Pelky and Rachel Hermus each had 10 points. St. Norbert had just seven free throws, making six, while Wartburg was 16-for-22 from the charity stripe.

Weidemann was the only Wartburg player to score in double figures with 13 points. The Knights shot 34 percent from the floor, making 16 of 47 attempts.