Ann Arbor, Michigan-The Concordia women’s basketball team lost a crucial WHAC battle at home against Lawrence Tech Wednesday night 65-52.
Conordia (18-11, 11-10 WHAC) led throughout the first half until Lawrence Tech took the lead late in the second quarter to take a 30-29 lead into halftime. From there, Larwrence Tech outscored the Cardinals 35-23 in the second half, including 17-8 in the third quarter.
“We just didn’t quite have it in that third quarter stretch,” Concordia head coach Thad Sankey said. “We came out and gave up three quick baskets and that was the turning of momentum for the game.”
Perhaps a microcosm of how the third quarter fared was the way it ended as freshman guard Chase Baur had chance to cut Concordia’s deficit to seven points, but Lawrence Tech’s senior forward Allison Kitchen blocked the shot before time expired.
“Visually, that’s an emotional piece,” Sankey said. “You want to put that shot up on the rim and give it a chance to go in, but so much of the difference of the game was decided before that, I thought. That was kind of like that end run before we started battling back.”
Despite the loss, Concordia’s junior guard Kari Borowiak continued to battle through the entire game, finishing with with a game-high 18 points along with five rebounds, two blocks, and steal. Freshman guard Mia Long added 13 points, four assists, and two steals. Missed shots by the Cardinals however hampered their chances to make a fourth-quarter comeback.
Lawrence Tech had a balanced effort as five different players scored in double figures, but sophomore forward Nicole Buckingham had the notable performance with a double double, recording a 14 points and ten rebounds, both team highs.
Concordia’s loss to Lawrence Tech is a critical one as the two teams entered the game tied for the fourth seed in the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) tournament. Lawrence Tech with the win now clinches the fourth seed, and along with it, home court advantage for the first round of the tournament by way of sweeping the season series against Concordia thanks also to an earlier home win against the Cardinals 73-50 on Nov. 30. Sankey however isn’t worried that his team lost a chance to host a first round tournament game.
“We know in our conference that every game is going to be competitive and we know we’ve got to bring a great effort,” Sankey said. “For us, it’s not just about seeding (and) it’s not just about where we end up for the postseason, (but) we want to play well. We want to play well because of the pride that we have in our team and pride’s an important thing for us to compete against good conference teams every single night. That’s what we want to do.”
Concordia will have one more chance to play well before the conference tournament and still has a lot to play for as the Cardinals’ final regular season game will be at Madonnna. Those two teams are now part of a three-way tie with Cornerstone for the fifth seed. This also gives Concordia a chance to avenge a tough loss to Madonna earlier in the season.
“We had a really close one against them, went into overtime last time so we have our eye set on that one,” Borowiak said. “We’re really going to work hard the next two days in practice and hopefully and hopefully, we’ll get the win.