Fourth Quarter Slump Dooms Spartans

Jan 22, 2020

Box Score

DECORAH, Iowa – The University of Dubuque women’s basketball team hung with the third place Luther College Norse for the first three quarters, but the offense went quite in the fourth and fell to the Norse, 77-62.

While the Spartan offense struggled to get going in the first couple minutes, they continued to attack the hoop, getting to the free throw line 10 times in the first quarter, making six of them to stay afloat until the offense kicked in. Trailing 6-5 at the midway point of the first quarter the Spartans had their first run of the game, scoring the next eight points over a 2:15 span to move ahead 13-6. The Norse would score nine of the final 11 points in the last 2:23 to end the opening quarter even at 15-15.

In a quarter that neither team led by more than three points, we entered halftime exactly where we started with the game tied after 20 minutes of play. The Spartan bench played a key role in the first half, scoring 19 of UD’s 33 points, and 11 of those came at the hand of Lauren Griffith who shot 5-8 from the field in the half. Allison Bailey and Griffith team up for over half of UD’s first half points as Bailey added seven points in the half.

Griffith and Bailey would pick up where they left off in the first half, scoring back-to-back baskets to open the half and give UD a four-point lead. That lead would hold for three minutes until Luther went on a 10-0 run to gain their biggest lead of the game to that point at six with 5:28 to play in the third. Over the next two minutes that Norse lead would grow to 10 points but UD would not go easy. A quick 8-0 burst from the Spartans over the next 90 seconds trimmed the deficit to two points.

The Spartan run was halted by the end of the third quarter and the Spartans were not able to carry that momentum over to the fourth quarter as the Norse opened the quarter scoring the first 13 points to push the UD deficit to 15. The Spartans were held scoreless for the opening 6:05 of the final quarter and were never able to recover.

After her 11 first half points, Lauren Griffith stayed hot to finish with a career-high 24 points. Her previous high came back on Dec. 17th with 15 points against Rockford. Allison Bailey and Mimi Smith would finish with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Smith nearly had another double-double as she totaled eight rebounds.

The Spartan defense limited the Norse to just 3-22 (13.6%) from behind the three point line and forced 21 Norse turnovers.

The Spartans will finally return home with a 2 p.m. tip time on Saturday, Jan. 25th against Simpson College.