GEORGETOWN, Texas - Despite leading by nearly 20 points at halftime, Southwestern fell 75-71 to Wartburg College on Monday afternoon.
Southwestern was patient offensively when they needed to be and pushed the ball up the court when the opportunity presented itself to steadily build a lead throughout the first half. With sharp shooting from all players on the court the Pirates took an 18 point lead into halftime, 46-28.
SU shot 53.1% from the floor and 42.1% from long range in the half while holding the Knights to 37% and 30% from three point range. Chelsea Leeder led with 13 points while five other Pirates contributed at least four points in the half.
With renewed vigor, Wartburg came out of halftime as a different team and pulled within 9 points, 50-41, after a three by Bobbi Burrows with 14:33 to play in the game.
Strong inside play and second chances allowed the Knights to hang around and their confidence grew with each point scored. With just under eight and a half to play the Pirates' lead had dwindled to three, 61-58.
As the clock ticked under five minutes Wartburg secured their first lead of the game, 66-65. The lead jumped back and forth before Wartburg pulled ahead by four, 71-67, with just under three to play. A lob pass by Leeder to Annie Bourne gave Bourne an easy layup to tie the game 71-71.
After another crucial offensive rebound by Wartburg, the Pirates were forced to foul. Wartburg converted on one of the two one-and-one opportunities to take a one point lead 72-71. Wartburg's #33 missed the front end of a one-and-one to give the Pirates the ball back with 35 ticks remaining. A costly turnover gave the ball back to the Knights who made both free throws to push their lead to three, 74-71.
Southwestern brought the ball down the court for a final look and was fouled out front and sent to the free throw line with seven seconds left, no longer having a look at a three to tie.
Valerie Logan missed the first and forced her to miss the second to get a look, but she missed the rim and gave the ball back to Wartburg. WU's Cathy Reiter made one of two to send the Warriors out with the 75-71 victory.
Southwestern shot under 30% in the second half to end 42.9% from the field and 37.5% from three point range while Wartburg was 64.3% from the field and 55.6% from long range in the second half to end 50.9% from the floor and 42.1% from long range for the game.
The loss drops the Pirates to 6-3 on the year while Wartburg improves to 5-3. Southwestern has some time to regroup as they break for the holidays. They return to action in St. Louis for three games beginning with Blackburn on December 28th.