ST. PAUL, Minn.-- The Rams found themselves down by a double-digit margin with less than four minutes left in the game before rallying back to make it a one possession game. But the NCU rally came up just short in a 66-64 loss to Finlandia University (Hancock, Mich.) on Saturday afternoon in the ACR Homes Tip-Off Tournament hosted by Northwestern College.
North Central (0-2, 0-0) found themselves down 22-8 at the 12:18 mark of the first half before surging back into the game. The rest of the first half the Rams outscored Finlandia 18-8 to close the gap to just 30-26 at the break.
In the second half North Central took their first and only lead of the game at the 16:17 mark of the when junior Jorie Grenell (Lakeville, Minn./Spring Lake Park) got an offensive rebound and put it back in for a 36-35 advantage. Finlandia would take the lead back the next possession and eventually pushed their lead to 65-54 with just 3:24 to play.
NCU was able to hold the Lions without a field goal for the rest of the game and had the ball and a chance to tie or win the game with seven seconds remaining and the score at 66-64. But NCU was unable to get a shot off and their final push to get the first win of the new season came up just short.
Jorie Grenell recorded a game high 27 points. Senior Heidee Kollenda (Menominee, Mich./Menominee) notched her first career double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Elisabeth Trickey was in double figures with 11 points and 7 rebounds. Trickey also surpassed 1000 points for her NCU career on a made free throw in the second half.
North Central will be back in action on Monday in their home opener verses Crossroads College (Rochester, Minn.). The Rams and Knights are set for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.