RC women stay in thick of tournament chase with come-from-behind wins

Morgan Johnson lays the ball off the backboard for the game-winning basket Tuesday night.

For the second time in as many games, the Ripon College women’s basketball team got off to a sluggish start Tuesday night.

Just like last time, it was able to overcome it to get the win.

The Red Hawks bounced back from a 21-10 first-half deficit and then held on in the final minute to defeat Beloit 67-63 at home.

With the victory, Ripon (8-4 conference, 8-9 overall) moves into a tie with Carroll for fifth place in the conference and is a half-game behind Illinois College for the fourth and final tournament spot.

“The girls did a great job of … finishing out the possessions at the end of the game,” Ripon head coach Lauren Johnson said. “We needed to learn that about ourselves. We hadn’t yet this season.”

A large reason why the Red Hawks struggled to begin the game was their inability to convert scoring opportunities.

They missed 13 of their first 17 shots from the field and four of their first six free-throw attempts.

“If we don’t make layups and we don’t make free throws, I am not quite sure we will ever get out fast,” Johnson said. “I think that is what was definitely missing. We got [good] shots the first 15 minutes of the game and we had plenty of opportunities to score more than 10 points in the 15 minutes of the game … We got some of the same shots in the second half and the last five minutes of the first half that we had in the 15 minutes and we just finished them.”

Ripon ended the half on a 16-6 run to cut the deficit to 27-26, due in part to 6-of-9 shooting from the field — most of which were layups.

In the second half, it scored 11 of the first 15 points for a 37-31 lead.

Read the full story, which includes information on a dramatic ending, as well as a come-from-behind win against Grinnell and a dominating performance against Lawrence, in the Jan. 30, 2014 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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