LA CROSSE, Wis. -- Mount Mercy had its best shooting night of the season and clinched home court advantage in the first round of the Midwest Collegiate Conference Women's Basketball Tournament with a 71-56 defeat of Viterbo (Wis.) on Saturday at R.W. Beggs Senior Gymnasium.
The Mustangs shot 52.8 percent from the floor and outrebounded the V-Hawks, 40-33. The two teams will square off again in five days in the quarterfinals of the MCC Tournament. Fourth-seeded Mount Mercy (8-20, 5-7 MCC) and fifth-seeded Viterbo (10-20, 4-8 MCC) will meet on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Hennessey Recreation Center.
Junior forward Amanda Frost poured in a career-high 32 points for the Mustangs. Sophomore guard Paige Last added eight points, senior guard Brooke Quigley and freshman guard Callan Timms six apiece. Frost, Timms and junior guard Carrie Wood had six rebounds each. Quigley and Wood also dished out five assists.
Three V-Hawks reached double figures, including Dani Templin and Ally Ostrander with 11 points apiece. Laquita Becker chipped in 10 points and shared game-high honors with nine rebounds. Kelly Evers also grabbed nine boards and she and Ostrander had four assists each.
There are two more MCC quarterfinal match ups on Thursday. Seventh-seeded AIB (5-22, 3-9 MCC) visits second-seeded William Penn (18-9, 9-3 MCC) and sixth-seeded Clarke (6-21, 3-9 MCC) will be at third-seeded St. Ambrose (22-6, 8-4 MCC). Those two winners will square off in the semifinals on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Top-seeded Grand View (19-6, 10-2 MCC) has a first-round bye and will host the Viterbo-Mount Mercy winner on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
The highest remaining seed will host the MCC championship game on Monday, Feb. 25, at 7:00 p.m. The tournament champion earns the league's automatic berth in the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship March 6-12 in Sioux City.