Luke Rinne, Director of Athletic Communications
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Lewis’ women’s basketball team defeated Walsh 86-71 in the opening round of the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament in Springfield, Mo. on Friday afternoon. With the win, the Flyers, seeded second, improve to 27-4 while the Cavaliers, seeded seventh, end their season with a record of 25-7.
Jessica Kelliher (Waukesha, Wis./Waukesha North)led three Lewis players in double figures with 39 points and grabbed 15 rebounds. Rachel Hinders (Johnston, Iowa/Johnston)chipped in with 14 points while Tierney Lockett (Richton Park, Ill./Rich South)added 11 points. Gabby Green (Milwaukee, Wis./Pius XI)finished with nine assists and Morgan Glatczak (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago)blocked nine shots in the contest.
The Flyers shot 50 percent (29-for-58) from the floor in the contest, including 7-of-23 from three and shot 72. 4 percent at the foul line. They outrebounded Walsh 47-to-33 and scored 40 points in the paint and had 13 second chance points.
Lewis trailed by as many as four six minutes into the contest but outscored the Cavaliers 10-2 over the final 4:15 to grab a 22-18 lead at the end of the quarter. Kelliher scored 14 of the team’s 22 points in the stanza while Hinders and Glatczak had three each.
The Flyers opened the second quarter on a 5-0 run to extend its lead to nine but Walsh got back-to-back three’s from Lexie Scarton and Tyler Newkirk and two free throws from Quionche Carter to cut the lead to one with 7:22 left in the stanza.
Lewis countered with a 10-4 run to extend its lead to seven but the Cavaliers refused to go away getting backing to within one with less than four minutes to play in the half. The Flyers regained their seven-point cushion thanks to a 10-4 run on the strength of three-pointers from Kaitlyn Williams (Homer Glen, Ill./Joliet Catholic)and Gabby Green (Milwaukee, Wis./Pius XI)but the Cavaliers hit a three right before the buzzer to cut the lead to 47-43 at the half.
Kelliher had 26 points in the first 20 minutes to lead all scorers while Carter had 16 points to lead Walsh.
The Cavaliers scored the first bucket of the third quarter but Lewis proceeded to score 13 of the next 16 points to extend their lead to 60-48 on a jumper in transition from Lockett. That lead eventually extended to 15 late in the quarter on a pair of Hinders free throws but Walsh scored the final four points of the quarter to cut the Flyer lead to 66-55 heading into the final 10 minutes.
The Cavaliers cut the Lewis lead to nine less than three minutes into the final frame as Kelliher had to go to the bench with her four fouls. Lewis was able to extend its lead thanks to an 8-4 run over a three minute stretch. Reilly Olmstead (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg)and Hinders hit back-to-back three’s and Lockett added a jumper in the paint to extend the lead back to 15.
Walsh wouldn’t get closer than 11 points the rest of the way as Lewis was able to make 6-of-10 at the foul line in the final 93 seconds to seal the win.
Carter led three Cavaliers in double figures with 21 points while Tyler Newkirk chipped in with 12 while Kimmie Borck added 11. Brittni Clopton had seven rebounds and Carter had five assists.
The Flyers will take on Grand Valley State, seeded third, on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Lakers defeated sixth seeded Truman State 89-64 in the first game on Friday.