MILWAUKEE – Senior Jamie Spanbauer hit a pair of free throws with 4.7 seconds and came up with a game-clinching block on the other end to propel MSOE women's basketball to a 58-56 win over Carroll in the season opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Hotchkin Arena.
The Raiders (1-0) led the Pioneers (0-1) by as many as 11 but had to overtake the visitors in the final minutes.
Three free throws for Carroll tied the score at 56-56 with 16.1 seconds to play. On the ensuing possession, Spanbauer drew contact in front of her own bench and was sent to the free throw line to shoot two. She calmly converted both shots.
The Pioneers immediately called timeout and moved the ball to midcourt. They worked the ball to its intended destination, a Theresa Wichser three-pointer in the corner. Spanbauer closed out on the shooter and blocked the shot just before the horn expired.
Spanbauer finished with 15 points, six steals, and two blocked shots to lead the way. Senior Samantha Brooker scored eight points with 12 rebounds while sophomore Amy Reiser tallied nine points with five steals.
Wichser scored a game-high 21 points for Carroll with six made three-pointers and the game-tying three free throws in the final seconds. Katie Rosetti registered nine points and seven rebounds.
MSOE led 29-18 at halftime but the Pioneers erased the deficit with a 20-9 victory in the third quarter to send the game to a thrilling final quarter tied at 36-36.
Both offenses got off to a slow start but the Red & White was able to get on track earlier. After a three-pointer with 2:59 to go in the first quarter gave the visitors a 5-2 lead, the Raiders went on a speedy 14-1 run to take a 16-6 lead that lasted around just four minutes of game time.
Carroll did hit its stride to four at 18-14 midway through the second quarter only to see MSOE close out the half on an 11-5 run for a 29-18 lead at halftime.
The Raider defense was impressive, limiting the Pioneers to just 18.2 percent shooting and forcing 14 turnovers with eight steals.
MSOE shot 40.4 percent in the game, hitting on 5-of-19 from three-point range, and converted 7-of-9 at the free throw line. The defense also stepped up with 15 steals in the game. Carroll got into a rhythm shooting in the second half to finish the day at 35.4 percent. Behind Wichser, the Pioneers finished with seven made three's on 16 tries. They also went 15-for-23 at the free throw line.
The Raiders return to the floor in 10 days, hosting Mount Mary at Hotchkin Arena.