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Abby Hartmann sneaks past a defender for a layup. She scored all 11 of her points in the first half.    

The Ripon College Red Hawk women’s basketball team built a big enough lead after three quarters to overcome a rough fourth quarter and extinguish the Knox College Prairie Fire 63-56 last week Saturday at home.

Ripon led 17-11 after one quarter, 45-23 entering halftime and 59-34 following three quarters of play, before getting out-scored 22-4 in the fourth quarter to allow the Prairie Fire to make the game closer at the end.

With the win, the Red Hawks improved to 3-0 in Midwest Conference play and 4-6 overall. Knox, on the other hand, dropped to 0-3 in the conference and 2-7 overall.

“I think our team played probably really good two and a half quarters,” Ripon head coach Lauren Busalacchi said, noting fatigue may have caught up with her team after playing on the road against Beloit the previous night. “... We were happy just with our aggressiveness the first two and a half quarters, as well as our ability to get to the line a little bit ... Kind of matching the physicality-wise and rebounding-wise as well.”