The Lawrence University women’s basketball team rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit but fell just short in a 54-52 nonconference loss to Alverno College Monday night at Alexander Gymnasium.

Nakita Chadwick poured in a career-high 18 points for Lawrence (0-8), and Alex Deshler pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds for the Vikings.

Alyssa Jensen posted a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for Alverno (5-6). Hannah Galstad paced the Inferno with 16 points.

Alverno  broke the game open midway through the first half. The Inferno went on a 15-0 run to build a 28-10 lead and held Lawrence without a point for 6:09.

Alverno led by as many as 19 points in the first half and were up 35-19 at the break. Jensen hit a 3-pointer to open the second half and build the lead back to 19 points, but Lawrence began chipping away at the advantage midway through the second half.

After Alicia Kontowski made a free throw to give Alverno a 48-34 lead with 11:14 remaining, Lawrence scored the game’s next eight points to trim the margin to 48-42 with 6:47 left.

A pair of free throws from Jensen finally broke a 7:14 scoreless streak for the Inverno and gave Alverno a 50-42 lead.

The Vikings continued to slice into the margin with Deshler hitting a pair of free throws, Chadwick dropping in a layup and Kanesha Walker converting two free throws to cut the lead to 52-48 with 2:39 left.

The teams then traded missed shots before Kayla Kennedy made a free throw for Alverno with 1:01 left, but Walker countered with a layup for the Vikings with 48 seconds left to cut the margin to 53-50.

After an Alverno miss, Walker was fouled and hit two free throws with 27 seconds left to trim the margin to 53-52. The Vikings fouled Kontowski with 17.1 seconds left and she made one free throw.

The Vikings got the ball to Chadwick on the baseline but her layup slipped off the rim and Alverno secured the rebound as time expired to seal the win.

Lawrence returns to Midwest Conference action on Wednesday when it hosts Monmouth College.

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