Spartans Squander Halftime Lead as Knights Shock UD in Second Half

Feb 14, 2015 | None


WAVERLY, Iowa - The University of Dubuque women's basketball team couldn't hold on to a seven-point halftime advantage as Wartburg utilizes 11-0 run to begin second half to down the Spartans, 63-57.

The Spartans (15-8, 9-3 Iowa Conference). were led by Emily Brinker who tied a game-high with 13 points and was the lone Spartan to reach double figures. Wartburg (14-9, 5-7 Iowa Conference) spoiled UD's bid for its sixth straight victory in the series, but won for just the second time in the last 10 games.

A productive first half featured 44% shooting and five threes, and led to a 19-3 run to end the first. It was a different story in the second half for the Spartans.

The Knights overwhelming 11-0 run to start the second gave them a four-point lead at the 15:20 mark that they would fail to relinquish. In a game filled to the brim with turnovers - 49 combined - it was the Spartans untimely giveaways down the stretch that helped Wartburg stave off any chance of a comeback attempt. After slicing the Knight lead to 50-43 with 4:59 remaining, the Spartans turned it over on four of their next five possessions. The Knights pushed to a 10-point advantage despite the Spartans lack of production (32% second half shooting).

Free throws carried Wartburg to the finish line after surviving a 6-0 UD run that sliced their lead to five with 47 seconds to go. After holding the Knights to 3 of 4 free throw shooting in the first half, the Spartans allowed a 17-of-23 showing in the second. Taking full advantage, the Knights shot 20 free throws after earning the double bonus at the 5:30 mark.

Inversely, the Spartans suffered a rough night from the charity stripe (12 of 24) in their worst free throw shooting performance of the year. 

Jenna Kotas and Molly Richardson each had nine points to backup Brinker. Kotas scored all nine in the second half while Richardson's came via three straight three-pointers amidst an 11-0 run towards the end of the first.

UD finds itself tied for first with Luther as two home conference games remain. The Spartans welcome Buena Vista (8-15, 3-9 Iowa Conference) this Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. The Beavers lost to Simpson, 77-53, on Saturday afternoon. UD shot 49 free throws to beat Buena Vista on the road, 82-73 (OT), in first matchup of year.