Natalie Geiger drives to the basket in Ripon’s 60-57 loss to St. Norbert.
Natalie Geiger drives to the basket in Ripon’s 60-57 loss to St. Norbert.

   The Ripon College women’s basketball team appeared to be well on its way to its ninth-straight win Tuesday as it led St. Norbert 43-27 with a little more than two minutes left in the third quarter.

   Then, the wheels fell off.

   The Red Hawks were out-scored 33-14 the rest of the way en route to a 60-57 loss at home.

   While the defeat snapped Ripon’s winning streak, it didn’t affect its place atop the Midwest Conference standings. That was  due to a “violation of institutional policy” by St. Norbert that resulted in it forfeiting 10 games this season and all of the games it does play counting as non-conference.

   In fact, the Red Hawks clinched a berth in the conference tournament Tuesday by virtue of losses by Lawrence and Illinois College.

   Despite the loss not costing Ripon in the standings, it didn’t make it any easier for Ripon head coach Lauren Johnson to swallow.

   “It was an ugly night from the beginning,” she said. “We weren’t [playing] fundamentally offensively and defensively and that hurt us.”

   The Red Hawks’ lack of sharpness kept the Green Knights in the game throughout the first half.

Read the full story, which includes information on wins over Illinois College and Beloit, in the Feb. 1 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.