Wurm turns on No. 25 BC

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Scoring seven of her team's first 15 points, senior Mandy Wurm (center) helped the Lady Vikings establish a lead they would not relinquish against 25th-ranked Benedictine.

For most of the season, senior Mandy Wurm has been a valuable player off the bench for the Missouri Valley College women's basketball team.

On Monday, the 5-foot-10 forward from Maple Lake, Minn., was given a rare start -- and rewarded head coach Keith Lindahl with a season-high 11 points during the Lady Vikings' 68-61 Heart of America Conference home victory over 25th-ranked Benedictine. It was Wurm's third straight double-digit scoring performance.

Valley made no pretense of a perimeter shooting game, but attacked the bucket from the paint from the start -- with Wurm playing a key part with four field goals and a free throw in the first 10 minutes. Freshman Jordanne Walker made the Lady Vikings' only three-pointer -- they only attempted four -- for a seven-point lead.

The margin grew to 17 points before junior Angeline Finazzo hit from outside and sophomore Melinda Morrison made two shots, but it was still 10 points at halftime.

Sophomore Holly Siverling, who underwent a rough start with three turnovers and a pair of missed free throws, subbed in for Wurm for the closing minutes of the period and responded with four buckets and a pair of charity shots.

The teams traded buckets through the early part of the second half until the Lady Ravens staged an 11-6 mini-run, a three by junior Courtney Edmonds trimming the gap to three points and -- after Wurm struck inside -- another Finazzo bomb to tighten the contest to 55-53 with under five minutes to go.

Junior Bonnie Johnson got the Lady Vikings back on track with a stick-back, Wurm and sophomore Misti Johnson each made two from the charity stripe and Johnson fed Siverling in the paint to push the cushion back up to 10 points.

Benedictine was unable to get the margin to within three possessions again as Orange and Purple sank nine of 10 free throws down the stretch -- after missing 14 of their first 20 tries from the line.

The Lady Ravens have five players who average 10 points or more per game, but only sophomore Abby Winder reached that mark -- with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Benedictine (14-5, 6-4 HAAC) has only allowed opponents to shoot 42.9 percent from the field this season, but the Lady Vikings made 55.3 percent of their attempts.

Meanwhile, Valley's defense was up to its usual form -- allowing the Lady Ravens to make only 35.2 percent of its shots from the field, better than MVC's typical 39.5 opponent shooting percentage.

Siverling had 19 points and nine rebounds and Bonnie Johnson had 16 points and seven boards to pace the Lady Vikings (8-9, 6-4) -- who have won three of their last four games to move into a third-place tie with BC in the league standings.

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