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Warriors fall to V-Hawks in NSAA finale

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Aaron Schneider

LA CROSSE, Wis. – The Waldorf College women’s basketball team fell in a 70-52 loss to Viterbo University while closing out North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) play on Wednesday.

Entering halftime, the score was tied at 27-all. The V-Hawks (6-21, 2-7) shot 50 percent in the second half, knocking down 18-of-36 attempts from the field. Viterbo outscored the Warriors (2-22, 0-11) by a 27-8 margin in the third quarter.

The V-Hawks finished 29-of-71 (40.8 percent) from the floor. Waldorf turned in a 20-of-58 (34.5 percent) effort from the field, which included a 10-of-30 (33.3 percent) showing in the second half.

“We didn’t shoot well in the second half, which obviously affected our scoring,” Waldorf coach Katie Schutjer said.

Ameh Ogbemudia led the Warriors with 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds. The 6-foot freshman center from St. Francis, Minnesota hit 6-of-8 (75 percent) attempts from the floor.

“Ameh played a pretty good game and shot well around the basket,” Schutjer said.

Waldorf freshman Samantha Birkes added 12 points and two steals. Freshmen Taylor Fricke and Taylor Kurtz dropped in nine points apiece. Freshman Haley Lawrence scored three points and freshman Meriel Leavy contributed two points. Fricke pulled down seven boards while Lawrence collected six rebounds.

Viterbo’s Whitney Hanson and Britney Hattamer each tallied double-doubles. Hanson notched 18 points and hauled in 11 rebounds. Hattamer turned in 15 points and 10 boards. Heidi Huebner contributed 15 points and Lauren Busse scored 11 points.

Kassi Hofschield played a role in the V-Hawks’ balanced attack as she handed out five assists.

Viterbo won the battle on the boards, out-rebounding the Warriors 44-39. The V-Hawks claimed a 15-11 advantage in second-chance points with the help of 18 offensive boards.

Waldorf committed 22 turnovers, which keyed Viterbo to a 32-4 advantage in points off turnovers. The V-Hawks, who came away with a 6-4 edge in fast-break points, turned the ball over 11 times.

“It was the same story for us – too many turnovers and not keeping them off the offensive boards,” Schutjer said. “Both of those things gave them more chances to score and they capitalized, especially in the third quarter.”

The Warriors shot 5-of-22 (22.7 percent) attempts from 3-point range while the V-Hawks made 4-of-21 (19.0 percent) shots from the perimeter. Waldorf found the free-throw line 11 times and hit seven (63.6 percent) of its attempts. Viterbo converted on 8-of-10 (80 percent) shots from the charity stripe.

The Warriors outscored the V-Hawks 18-14 in the paint. It was a tough finish to the conference season for a Waldorf squad that consists of eight freshmen, one sophomore and two juniors. However, the loss presents the opportunity to learn.

“We are a young team,” Schutjer said. “Hopefully, they are taking games like this one and learning from it.”

The Warriors conclude the regular season on Saturday as they host College of the Ozarks (23-3) in a 1 p.m. tipoff. Ozarks reached the second round of last year’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II National Tournament. The Lady Bobcats are ranked No. 4 in the latest national poll.