Hamline News

Hamline women extinguish first place Blazers

The Pipers, who held a 2-49 all-time record against the Blazers prior to this game, defeated Saint Benedict for the first time since a pair of wins (75-52 and 67-62) during the 1985-86 season.

The Pipers controlled much of the first half, leading from the tip-off until a series of lead changes in the final three minutes. With the Blazers holding a 33-31 lead, the Pipers gained control of the ball on a defensive rebound in the last half minute of play. Hamline then stalled to set up sophomore point guard Nikki Klinck (Hibbing, Minn.), who came in from half court for a buzzer-beating layup to tie the game at 33-33 heading into the locker rooms.

Mary Wilkowski (So., Savannah, Ga.) led the Pipers in the opening 20 minutes with 12 points and six rebounds. Laura Canton (So., Pine Island, Minn.) had nine points in the first half to lead the Blazers.

Saint Benedict went on a 8-0 run in the first two and a half minutes of the second half, putting the Blazers up 41-33. Mary Wilkowski (So., Savannah, Ga.) then made a layup at to end Hamline’s scoring drought and lead them back into the game.

The teams once again began trading one- and two-point leads, with the Pipers gaining their first lead of the second half on a Jackie Kelly (So., Blaine, Minn.) three-pointer from near the sideline at 13:20. The Blazers’ Mindy Schmidt (Jr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) quickly tied it, before Kelly made two free throws to put the home team up by two again.

As the game entered the final minute on the scoreboard, the Blazers took a one point lead on an Ariel Tauer (Sr., Edina, Minn.) basket. Wilkowski was then sent to the free throw line with 44 seconds to play, and made to shots to regain a one-point Piper lead.

With the Blazers coming back down the court with 20 seconds to play, they missed a three-pointer from near their bench, which was rebounded by Hamline’s Jackie Kelly (So., Blaine, Minn.). Britta Schwartzhoff (Sr., Hayward, Wis.) was promptly fouled, and made one of two free throws with 12 seconds to play for the 67-65 Hamline advantage.

With three seconds to play in the game, and a two-point Piper lead, Tauer was fouled and sent to the line for the Blazers. After missing her first free throw, she intentionally missed the second to attempt the Blazer rebound. Hamline recovered the ball, and earned the 69-65 win when Jessica Heinen (Sr., Hayward, Wis.) made two free throws with a second on the clock.

Heinen had 19 points to lead the Pipers, while Wilkowski finished with 18. Kelly added 14.

Also for the Pipers, Klinck added eight rebounds (two offensive, six defensive), as well as seven steals, five points and three assists.

The Blazers were led by 13 points each from Stifter and Schmidt.

With the conference win, the Pipers now stand at 10-4, 7-4 MIAC. The Blazers fall to 10-3, 8-2 MIAC. The Pipers will next travel to Augsburg on Wednesday, January 21, for a 7:30 p.m. conference contest.