Eleanore Mueller releases a layup against St. Norbert. She scored a team-high 13 points in the loss.
Eleanore Mueller releases a layup against St. Norbert. She scored a team-high 13 points in the loss.

   In its first meeting with St. Norbert this season, the Ripon College women’s basketball team hung around for the first 15 minutes before falling big 62-39.

   History repeated itself last week Friday in the semifinals of the Midwest Conference Tournament.

   The Red Hawks (17-7 overall) were tied with the Green Knights  (20-5 overall) at 27 with two minutes remaining in the first half, but were out-scored 7-0 prior to the intermission.

   Then, in the second half, Ripon couldn’t keep up as it was out-scored 36-22 for the half en route to a 70-49 loss.

   It marks the second-straight year that it was eliminated by the Knights in the tournament as it was out-matched from the start last season and lost 78-46.

   St. Norbert went on to win the tournament, defeating host Cornell 59-54 a day later in the title game.

   “We weren’t sharp defensively on the ball or in help,” Ripon head coach Lauren Johnson said of what went wrong. “We closed out poorly, were slow to recover and didn’t play team defense. It was probably our poorest defensive effort of the season, unfortunately. Part of that resulted from just St. Norbert’s guards who are all-conference players and who played really well. And part of that was us not executing our defensive system.”

   The Red Hawks also weren’t firing on all cylinders offensively as they shot 35 percent (17 of 49) from the field, which is one of their lowest percentages of the season.

Read the full story, which includes information on the bright future of the team, in the March 2, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.