V-Hawks clip Cardinals

Poor shooting from the field was the demise of the SMU Cardinals women’s basketball team as they lost to Viterbo University Wednesday night at home.

Saint Mary’s Sports Information Director

WINONA, Minn. — With first semester finals behind them, the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota women’s basketball team was hoping to channel all of its attention on dispatching of Viterbo in Wednesday night’s nonconference showdown at the Saint Mary’s Gym.

The V-Hawks, however, had other ideas.

Viterbo took advantage of Saint Mary’s ice-cold shooting from the field, as the V-Hawks held the Cardinals to just 19 first-half points and did not let Saint Mary’s play with the lead over the game’s final 23 minutes in dealing SMU a 53-49 setback.

The Cardinals struggled all night to find their shooting touch, hitting on just 17 of 56 field goal attempts — including a 3-for-16 effort in the second quarter and a 3-for-13 showing in the fourth.

Saint Mary’s started strong, scoring nine of the first 13 points to grab a 9-4 lead midway through the first quarter, but by the time Brandi Blattner (Eyota, Minn.) drained a pair of free throws at the 7:49 mark of the second quarter, the Cardinals had gone more than six minutes with recording a point — and trailed the V-Hawks 15-11.

The Cardinals scored eight of the next 10 points to grab a 19-17 lead midway through the second quarter, but a field goal and a free throw by Alyssa Nilssen put Viterbo in front, 20-19 — and the V-Hawks never relinquished the lead.

Trailing by four at the break, 23-19, Blattner hoisted the Cardinals on her shoulders, scoring six of Saint Mary’s first 10 points of the third quarter to cut the deficit to one, 28-27.

Viterbo, however, had an answer, pushing the lead to eight, 43-35 — its biggest advantage of the game — late in the quarter, before settling for a six-point, 43-37, cushion heading into the game’s final 10 minutes.

The Cardinals got a field goal from Blattner and a free throw from Caily Landers (Palos Heights, Ill.) to make it a three-point game to open the fourth quarter, but Saint Mary’s would get no closer, as the V-Hawks knocked down 6 of 10 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Blattner finished with a game-high 18 points and added 12 rebounds for her second double-double of the season, while Abby Winter (Winona, Minn.) chipped in 11 rebounds and Claire Patterson (Marine, Minn.) netted eight points.

Nilssen delivered a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double to pace the V-Hawks (7-6 overall), while Ambree Schlosser and Madison Doerr tossed in 15 and 10 points, respectively.

The Cardinals (6-4 overall) are right back in action on Saturday, when they return to the Saint Mary’s Gym for a 2 p.m. nonconference game against North Central (Ill.).

For more news on Cardinal athletics visit: /saintmaryssports.com

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