MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - For the second consecutive year, the Ripon women's basketball team's season ended in the Midwest Conference semifinals at the hands of St. Norbert College, as SNC defeated the Red Hawks 70-49 Friday night. Ripon shot 35 percent (17-49) from the field and 18 percent (2-11) from 3-point range, while St. Norbert made 49 percent (23-47) of their shots, including 41 percent (7-17) from behind the arc.
Despite the final score, the first half was very tightly contested. St. Norbert (19-5) scored the first four points of the game, but that would be the largest lead of the first quarter by either team. After entering the second quarter tied at 14, Ripon (17-7) took the lead with four consecutive points. They continued to lead with three minutes left in the period, but St. Norbert ended the quarter on a 10-2 run to take a 34-27 lead into halftime.
The second half saw St. Norbert pick up where they left off, taking control of the game in a third quarter that saw them outscore Ripon by a 22-12 margin. The Green Knights would take a 17-point lead into the final quarter, as they coasted to victory to advance to Saturday's MWC Championship Game against top-seeded Cornell.
Ripon was led by Eleanore Mueller's 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Nicole Herkert added 11 points and four rebounds. Maggie Oimoen finished with seven points, while Maddie Koster led the team in rebounds by tying a career-high with nine boards.
St. Norbert was led by Regan Carmichael's 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Brianna Byrne added 14 points, three assists, and three steals, while Jill Kleiman chipped in with 11 points, four assists, and three steals.
The Red Hawks' 17 wins is their most in seven years, and is tied for seventh in program history. This year's Red Hawks set a school record with 117 blocked shots, while also ranking 10th in program history for points scored, eighth in field goals made, tied for sixth in field goal percentage (.427), tied for ninth in 3-pointers, tied for eighth in 3-point percentage (.341), fifth in free throw percentage (.685), sixth in total rebounds, and tied for fifth in assists.