The Luther College women take the Iowa Conference lead into tonight’s matchup at home against Loras. Luther is 7-1 in the league race and strong defense has been the key during a six-game winning streak. The Norse are giving up just 52 points per game and opponents are shooting an average of just 37 percent, including 25 percent from three point range.
Luther coach Jane Hildebrand says they always start with defense as a foundation, as maybe if you aren’t shooting it well, then your defense can bring some things to you. She says they start with the press, but their half-court defense is solid as well.
The Norse have also done a good job of keeping their opponents off the foul line. They have made 235 free throws this season while their opponents have attempted only 227. Hildebrand says she’s looked at what other teams are shooting from the free-throw line and how many her team shoots, and says they’ve been able to adjust. She says it’s important to not foul and stop the clock and let other teams score.
Luther will be out for revenge, tonight. Loras won the first matchup 63-54 back on January third. Hildebrand says they got down early and then could never recover. She says their shot selection will be a little bit different and more patient.
Luther is 12-4 overall. Loras is 5-3 in the conference and 9-8 overall.