A year ago, the Wartburg women's basketball team took the excitement of their unexpected at-large selection into the NCAA Tournament all the way to the Final Four. This season, the joy ended prematurely.

The eighth-ranked Knights compiled a strong second half, but Chicago was able to stop the rally. The Maroons held on to beat Wartburg, 67-63, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at St. Thomas' Schoenecker Arena in St. Paul, Minn., Friday night (March 3, 2017).

The Knights end the season at 25-3 after making their second-straight appearance in the Big Dance.

Wartburg took the lead with 1:41 to play on a layup by junior Katie Sommer (Cedar Rapids). The Maroons answered back with a bucket of their own with 1:24 to go.

Junior Aryn Jones (Marion) made it a one-point game once more with her basket with 40 seconds left. Chicago then built the lead to four as it made free throws with :14 on the clock after Wartburg fouled to try to get the ball back.

Sommer sliced the margin in half with her two free throws with seven seconds left and them immediately fouled a Maroon, who made her free throws to make it 67-63. The Knights attempted a last-second shot that fell short, allowing Chicago the win.

Wartburg recorded back-to-back 20 win seasons and set new single season records in three-point field goals made. Sommer was voted most valuable player in the Iowa Conference and Wartburg's Bob Amberry was named the league's coach of the year. Junior Miranda Murphy (Alleman) joined Somer as a First-team All-Conference selection, while classmates Kristie Sommer (Cedar Rapids) and Morgan Neuendorf (Shell Rock) were tabbed Second-team All-Conference.

Looking ahead, the future looks very bright for the Knights. They have no seniors and return their entire roster next season.

Game Highlights vs. Chicago

Post-Game Press Conference

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