The Beloit College women’s basketball team played three solid quarters at Wartburg but fell to the Knights 76-56 in Waverly, Iowa Saturday afternoon.
Aa big third quarter for Wartburg proved to be the difference in the game as the Buccaneers stayed close to a Knights’ squad that made a run to the Final Four a season ago.
Undersized on the inside, the Bucs relied on outside shooting in the game with an 8-3 advantage in buckets from behind the arc.
Shelby Kline opened the game with a three-pointer just ten seconds into the game. Candace Cunningham and Danielle Strejc followed with ‘tres’ of their own to give Beloit an 11-8 lead with under four minutes to play in the first quarter but the Knights ended the period with a 10-2 spurt to take a five-point advantage into the second quarter.
Wartburg’s lead swelled into double figures, 24-13 at the 8:07 mark when Beloit head coach Gloria Bradley called a quick timeout. The Bucs scored 10 of the next 12 points to pull within three, 26-23 with four minutes left in the half. The team’s traded small runs and a bucket from Wartburg as the seconds ticked away had the Bucs trailing 36-29 at the half.
The Knights capitalized on their height in the third quarter outscoring Beloit 18-2 in the paint to widen the gap to 59-42 with one quarter left. The Bucs held their own in the final period of play but were unable to comeback from the deficit.
Kline led Beloit with 19 points on 7-of-15 from the floor and 3-of-9 from downtown. She added six rebounds, four assists and two steals in the game. Cunningham pitched in 13 points, led the Bucs with nine boards, and tallied four assists and three steals.
Beloit will return to Flood Arena to open Midwest Conference play Friday against Cornell College at 5:30.