Ripon's Lauren Busalacchi Named MWC Coach of the Year

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Ripon College Head Coach Lauren Busalacchi has been named Midwest Conference Women's Basketball Coach of the Year, as announced Tuesday by the conference office. This marks the first such award for Busalacchi, who led the Red Hawks to their second consecutive conference championship this season, and first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 10 years.

The team enters Friday's NCAA First Round game with a 19-8 record, which is tied for the fifth-most victories in a single season in program history. The Red Hawks also finished with a 16-2 conference record, while going 12-1 on their home court. They have won nine games in a row and have won 16 of their last 17, as they have lost just one game since December 11.

Under Johnson's leadership, Ripon leads the MWC in scoring defense this season, allowing 52.9 points per game, which is six points per game less than the second-lowest total. The Red Hawks also lead the league in field goal percentage defense (.336), 3-point percentage defense (.235), rebounding margin (+9.0), and blocked shots (4.3 bpg).

After going 2-21 (2-16 in the MWC) in Busalacchi's second season as head coach four years ago, she has led the team to a 65-33 record, including 55-15 in the MWC, with four MWC Tournament appearances, two MWC Championships, and one NCAA Tournament appearance.