MILWAUKEE, Wi. Sophomores Katie Lundeen and Carsyn Osterman scored in double figures as the Finlandia University women's basketball team (16-11) beat UC Santa Cruz (14-12) 60-50 in the ACAA Championship, Sunday afternoon at the Bloechl Center.
This is the first conference championship in school history and extended the school record winning streak to 11 games.
"The underdog prevails," said head coach Mariah Dunham. "I'm very blessed to coach these young ladies. They have influenced me, tested me and made me a better coach. Credit to UC-Santa Cruz for not giving up. They battled back and gave us a run in the fourth. We were tough enough to handle it because we have been tested. Go Lions!"
For the first nine minutes, Finlandia and UC-Santa Cruz stayed closed to each. With a minute to go, the Lions were up five 13-8. Osterman scored in the paint to start a 17-2 run over the next six minutes.
The Lions led by at least 16 points for the last five minutes of the second period and all of the third period. Down 16 with 7:42 to go in the final period, the Banana Slugs came fighting back.
A triple cut the gap to six, 56-50 at the 1:30 mark. FinnU came up with several great defensive stops. Osterman hit four free throws in the final 50 seconds to seal the win.
FinnU won the battle of the boards, 50-37 and used their 19 offensive boards to get 16 second chance points. The Lions held UCSC to 25.9% from the floor and 24.1% on 3-pointers.
For Finlandia, Lundeen had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Osterman scored 15 points and blocked two shots.
For UC-Santa Cruz, Ashley Kowack had 19 points and Emily Mitchell scored 15.