Women's Hoops Late Rally Falls Short Against Norse

Jan 23, 2019

Box Score

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The University of Dubuque women’s basketball team battled the Luther College Norse, who sit near the top of the American Rivers Conference standings, to the end on Wednesday night but fell just short, 75-70.

The Spartans got off to a quick start against the Norse on Wednesday night, after an Abigail Zurcher three pointer at the 5:00 mark of the opening quarter gave UD an early 12-8 lead. UD went into a little of a drought after the Zurcher three, scoring just two points over the final five minutes of the first and went into the second quarter down 17-14. Both teams had a slow second quarter, as both teams would shoot under 25% in the quarter, allowing the game to slow close but Luther carried a 28-26 lead to halftime.

Both offenses’ finally got going in the second half as Josie Thomas hit a three to open the third quarter scoring, giving UD the lead for 24 seconds before the Norse gained it right back. The Norse would slowly push their lead up to nine points as a three from Anna Edel right before the third quarter buzzer put them ahead 54-45 heading into the fourth.

Trailing by eight with 5:24 to play, the scrappy Spartans would not go away. Back-to-back lay-ups from Jaden Kelley and Josie Thomas quickly cut the deficit to four points before an Abigail Zurcher jumper got UD within one possession with four minutes to play. Just seconds later, two free throws from Thomas, UD would tie it up for the first time had the score tied for the first time since it was 12-12.

After trading three point plays, Zurcher drilled a jumper to put the Spartans ahead by two with 2:47 remaining, their first lead since there were 53 seconds left in the first quarter. Both teams would go scoreless for the next 70 seconds before a Norse three put Luther ahead by one. Luther would score the next seven points to go ahead by eight and steal the victory from the Spartans.

The two teams managed nearly identically shooting percentages, UD finished at 36.5% (23-63) and Luther with 36.2% (25-69), but one key difference came from points off turnovers where Luther had the 21-9 advantage.

Jaden Kelley tallied a team-high 18 points, most of which came in or near the paint, which helped give UD a 24-22 advantage in scoring in the paint. Abigail Zurcher came up with big shot after big shot to finish with 16 points and Josie Thomas connected on three treys to give her 13.  Miah Smith grabbed 15 of UD’s 51 rebounds against Luther and pitched in seven points and one block.  

The Spartans go right back on the road, traveling to Simpson College on Saturday where tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Indianola.