Ripon grinds out comeback win over Lawrence

Lawrence's Erin Hill finished with nine points for the Vikings in a 40-34 loss to Ripon.
Lawrence's Erin Hill finished with nine points for the Vikings in a 40-34 loss to Ripon.

APPLETON, Wis. -- The Ripon College women's basketball team put together a grind-it-out, come-from-behind 40-34 Midwest Conference victory over Lawrence University on Wednesday at Alexander Gymnasium.

The Red Hawks rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit, took the lead late in the third quarter and held on for the victory.

Emma McDonald led Ripon (14-7, 11-2 MWC) with 12 points but was stymied by Lawrence's Erin Hill and hit just 4-of-14 shots from the floor.

Kenya Earl paced Lawrence (7-15, 5-8) with 14 points and six rebounds. Hill added nine points for the Vikings.

Lawrence jumped on the Red Hawks early and scored the final 10 points of the first quarter. Elena Gonzales scored four points and Hill added three during the run as the Vikings stretched their lead to 15-4 after the first quarter.

The Vikings then turned the ball over eight times in the second quarter, and Earl scored all five of Lawrence's points in the period as Ripon closed to 20-17 at the half.

Lawrence led 26-21 midway through the third quarter before Ripon scored eight straight points to grab a 29-26 edge with 2:09 left in the period. Earl drained two free throws to trim the lead to 29-28 after three.

McDonald hit a three-pointer and Alyassa Burgess followed with a layup to give Ripon a 34-28 lead with 5:24 left. The teams traded baskets before Ripon stretched the lead to 39-31, but Earl hit a three-pointer to cut the margin to 39-34 but that's as close as the Vikings would get.