NEW ULM - Martin Luther College's comeback attempt from a 27-point deficit against Dordt College went for naught as it fell 69-61 in nonconference women's basketball on Thursday night.
The Knights (3-7, 0-0 UMAC) finished the game on a 28-9 tear during the final 8 1/2 minutes after Dordt took a 60-33 lead. But the tear wasn't enough to prevent the Knights from losing their third-straight game.
"We just buried ourselves too deep a hole," said MLC coach Larry Czer. "They're a good ball club, they're going to make their shots and their free throws down the stretch. We can't bury ourselves in a hole early and then try to dig out of it all the time."
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Martin Luther College’s Mariah Schoof (44) attempts a layup after driving to the basket against Robyn Blount of Dodrt College on Thursday at MLC in New Ulm.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
The Defenders (7-6, 2-5 Great Plains) ended the first half on a 14-4 run after two free throws by Alex Anthon pulled the Knights to within one point at 20-19 with 5:46 remaining.
Senior post Elise Maresh led all scorers with 10 points off 5-of-9 shooting in the first half, finishing with a team-high 18 for Defenders.
Dordt stormed out of the gate in the second half, jumping out to a 50-30 lead midway through the second half. A 3-pointer by freshman Mariah Schoof was MLC's only score during Dordt's next 10-point run that gave it a 27-point lead - its largest of the game.
"I think we hit a wall sometimes," Czer said. "We're still young, we're still getting to know each other a little bit and I think once we get a little more experience with each other, we're going ot get through those rough spots."
Leah Nass and Hannah Hackbarth led the Knights' surge from there on out.
Nass, who had missed all four field goals she had taken by that point, went 3-for-5 from the field and converted all six of her free throws within the final 8:48 to finish with 12 points.
"When Leah wants to, she can pretty much take over a game," Czer said. "She decided she wanted to do that."
Hackbarth went 3-of-6 from beyond the arc for nine points during the final 8 1/2-minute stretch. She finished with a game-high 19 points coming off the bench.
Rebecca Engelbrecht added nine points and Schoof added seven.
"I'm really confident in us right now," Czer said. "I'm looking forward to getting back into the conference. We're going to have to work - our conference is very competitive - but we're starting to come together. If we just put two halfs together, I think we'll be fine."
Dordt 34 35 - 69
MLC 23 38 - 61
Van Dyke 3-6 0-1 8, Maresh 9-14 0-3 18, Schelhaas 1-2 10-10 13, Boone 1-5 2-3 5, Kroeze 2-7 3-4 7, Chapman 0-0 0-0 0, Broekhuis 3-7 0-0 9, Neuman 0-1 2-3 2, Jelsema 1-3 0-0 2, Blount 1-4 0-0 3, Hulst 1-2 0-2 2. Totals 22-51 19-27 69.
Nass 3-10 6-6 12, Engelbrecht 4-9 1-2 9, Anthon 1-6 2-2 4, Schmeling 0-3 0-1 0, Gossen 1-7 3-4 5, Hackbarth 7-16 0-0 19, Maertz 0-0 0-0 0, Schroeder 2-6 0-0 4, Willems 0-1 1-2 1, Schoof 3-9 0-0 7, Wilson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-67 13-17 61.