Finlandia women defeat Martin Luther College

Paul Peterson photo Carli Daavettila of Finlandia University brings the ball into the frontcourt against Martin Luther College pressure Friday night. The Lions netted a 66-59 win.

HANCOCK — Gaining revenge for an earlier loss this season, the Finlandia University women’s basketball team scored a 66-59 win over Martin Luther College Friday night.

The Lions never trailed in the contest at Paavo Nurmi Gym and that pleased their coach Steve Nordstrom.

“We got off to a good start and we protected our home court,” Nordstrom said. “It was a good win for us.”

The Knights refused to call it a day, twice drawing within a basket late in the game.

“We needed one more basket at the end and I was wondering who was going to hit,” Nordstrom said. “As it turned out, it was Kelsie Richards.”

Richards, the former Houghton High standout, had an outstanding game to give her team its fifth win in 19 tries this season.

“I thought Kelsie came in with an attitude for this game,” Nordstrom noted. “We don’t point to individual games, but she really played a great game.”

Richards, a 5-foot-11 junior, dumped in a game-high 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

After roaring to a 20-6 lead to begin the game, FU had to fend off several Martin Luther rallies the rest of the way.

The invaders knotted the game at 33-33 late in the opening half. But a 3point basket at the buzzer by Carli Daavettila lifted the Lions into a 36-33 halftime lead.

The Knights used full-court pressure to help cut into a 13-point advantage that FU built midway through the second half.

Finlandia guard Molly Berg dropped in three free throws and Mikayla Hakala added two charities in the final minute.

In addition to Richards’ big game, the Lions received 15 points and six assists from Hakala. Carli Daavettila added 12 points, while Julia Daavettila was good for eight points and seven boards.

The 8-14 Knights were led by Jade St. Germaine with 16 points. Mariah Schoof added 12 points.

Finlandia will host Bethany Lutheran at 4 p.m. today.

“The kids have worked hard, it’s good to see them get some wins,” Nordstrom said.

MARTIN LUTHER — Schultz 10, Schoof 12, Johnson 3, St. Germaine 16, Friebe 5, Schroeder 4, Bucholtz 7, Anklam 2. FG: 24-74; FT: 9-14; Rebounds: 50 (St. Germaine 12); Fouls: 13; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Schoof 2.

FINLANDIA — Berg 7, Richards 21, Hakala 15. C. Daavttila 12, J. Daavetilla 8, Pertile 3. FG: 23-60; FT: 10-12; Rebounds: 41 (Richards 13); Fouls: 13; Fouled out: None; 3-point FG: Hakala 3, C. Daavettila 3, Berg 1, Richards 1, J. Daavetila 1, Pertile 1.

Halftime score: FU 36, ML 33.