MILWAUKEE – The MSOE women's basketball team overcame a 10-point deficit to tie Benedictine, but could not overtake the visitors in falling 53-49 in the NACC Tournament First Round Tuesday evening at the Kern Center.
The Raiders (18-8) pulled within three points on a three-pointer from freshman Kiana Jeremiah with 2.5 seconds to go, but could not force the Eagles (16-10) into a turnover on the final possession. BenU advances to the semifinals Thursday at Wisconsin Lutheran.
Junior Holly Denfeld led MSOE with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Megan Kroll had 11 points, nine rebounds, three blocked shots and three steals in her final game. Freshman Brooke Scott had eight points and three blocks, as well, while junior Margaret Pugh finished with eight points.
DeKayla Crayton led Benedictine with 16 points in the game. Raven Willis added nine.
MSOE trailed 44-34 with under six minutes remaining in the game when it started its comeback. Kroll hit a layup at the 5:20 mark to start a 10-0 run, capped when Denfeld converted an and-1 opportunity at the 3:06 mark.
While the Red & White equaled the score, it could not overtake Benedictine, trading scoring trips down the floor. The visitors led 48-46 when they grabbed a defensive rebound with 28.8 seconds to go and the Raiders were forced to foul. The Eagles made 5-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the game.
Neither team shot well on the night, with MSOE finishing at 33.3 percent from the field, including 3-for-10 from three-point range. BenU shot 32.7 percent, making 2-of-4 three-point tries. The Eagles went 15-for-19 at the free throw line, while the Raiders were 12-of-17.
BenU had broken open a tight game in the second quarter, as Scott pulled the Raiders within 19-18 on a layup. The Eagles then rattled off a 10-2 run to take a 29-20 lead. The difference would remain nine at the break, 31-22.
MSOE started the third quarter on the right track, opening on a 9-2 run of its own to pull within 33-31 on a Kroll three with 3:46 remaining. Unfortunately, the visitors followed with a 9-1 run into the fourth quarter to establish a 10-point lead at 42-32.