LISLE, Ill. -- Alverno College led for a majority of the second half, but couldn't hold off host Benedictine University in a 52-45 Northern Athletics Conference loss Saturday night in the Rice Center. It was the first time this season the Inferno lost consecutive games.
The Inferno led 41-39 with three minutes left before the host Eagles used a 9-0 run to pull ahead in the final lead change of the night.
Alverno (12-8, 9-4 NAC) opened the game with a 1-0 lead on a Jamie Hoernke free throw, but Benedictine (10-10, 8-4) responded with 10-straight points and led the remainder first half, which included a 24-21 lead at halftime.
Kristen Speerschneider opened the second half with consecutive 3-pointers to go up 27-24, and the Inferno stayed in front until the Eagles' Vincenza Ranallo converted a three-point play to start the final go-ahead run.
The Inferno made just five free throws on 10 attempts, while the Eagles were 16-of-25, proving to be a deciding factor in the game's outcome, as the teams made just 17 and 16 field goals, respectively.
Devon Gorman led the Alverno scoring attack with 16 points and Anna Boteva chipped in nine on a trio of 3-point field goals, while Ranallo led the Eagles with 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field.
Kayla Kennedy snagged a career-high 13 rebounds to lead all while Speerschneider dished out a game-high six assists.
Alverno will have a week to regroup until its next game versus Wisconsin Lutheran College. The Inferno hosts the Warriors at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, in Reiman Gymnasium.