Women’s Basketball: Lundeen leads Lions into ACAA tourney

Sophomore center Katie Lundeen leads Finlandia in scoring and rebounding. (Paul Peterson/For the Gazette)

HANCOCK — Riding the crest of a nine-game winning streak, the Finlandia University women’s basketball team is hoping for more of the same this weekend.

The Lions (14-11) are the No. 2 seed in the American Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, which begins Saturday in Milwaukee.

Finlandia will meet Pine Manor College (Mass.) at 7 p.m. Saturday, with the winner of that game to play the victor of the Mount Mary College-UC-Santa Cruz tilt the next afternoon. MMC is the host of the event.

“We have been playing good basketball,” Lions’ coach Mariah Dunham said this week. “We’re hoping to continue that this weekend. We’ll have to play with intensity.”

One very positive factor for the locals has been the return of a healthy Katie Lundeen. The 5-foot-10 Lundeen leads the team in scoring and rebounding this season with marks of 17.4 points and 7.6 rebounds and outing.

“Injuries slowed up Katie in the second half of the season,” Dunham said. “But she’s healthy now and playing well. She’s our key player.”

Junior Bailey Froberg (L’Anse) is another key component with her defensive play and outside shooting skills.

“The thing about Bailey is that she can loosen up defenses with the threat of a 3-pointer,” Dunham said.

Harlee Froberg, a cousin of Bailey’s, is seen as the team’s stopper on defense. The Houghton High product averages six points and six rebounds a game.

“Harlee (Froberg) is the kind of player who’s solid in every department,” her coach said.

Sophomore point guard Carysn Osterman (Baraga) is second on the team with a 9.1 scoring average and also leads in assists and steals.

“She (Osterman) sets up our offense and handles the ball really well,” Dunham said. “But she can also score and we would like to see her step forward in that department.”

A number of other players come off “a really deep bench,” and provide a boost. The list includes Molly Berg and Taylor Pertile (Hancock), Mariah Austin and Houghton’s Casana Ryynanen. The latter is 5-11 and can spell the inside people.

Pine Manor, 6-12, relies heavily on 5-11 Kierra Jackson, who averages around 19 points a game. Mandee Eskridge is another scoring threat.

“Pine Manor has a couple of good scorers,” Dunham said. “We have to keep a close check on them.”

UC-Santa Cruz will be heavily favored to down Mount Mary in the other semifinal.

The Banana Slugs (13-11) bring a solid team to the tourney. Ashley Kowack, Kaylee Murphy and CJ Catina are the scoring leaders.

UCS is a Division III school with an enrollment of 17,507. The Slugs played Division I Santa Clara earlier in the season.

All FU games will be broadcast live on 99.3 FM The Lift.


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