Despite career performances from senior Eric Miller, who poured in 21 in the first half and junior Armand Stricklin, who put in a career high of 20 points, the Prairie Fire were unable to put on a final surge against Ripon, falling 92-85 to the Red Hawks.
Stricklin refused to let Ripon get away, helping to keep Knox in the game by scoring 15 straight points for his team to bring the Prairie Fire within seven points with just under eight minutes remaining.
Knox was able to make it a one possession game at 86-83, but were able to get no closer as the Red Hawks hit a number of clutch free throws to clinch the win.
Junior Jessica Howard knocked in a career-high seven three-pointers in the women’s game, leading Knox to a nine-point lead at the half. Ripon, however, had other ideas, storming out on an 11-1 run to start the half and slash the lead.
Howard continued her hot streak from beyond the arc, but Ripon took control of the glass and the game, closing the game out and taking the win 96-82. The Red Hawks held a 59-31 edge in rebounding and an 18-9 advantage in second chance points.
Before the game, the seniors from either team (Miller, David Jones, Chris McNichols, Mackinzie Chapman, Adam Worden, Grace Theisen and Chantal Heckman) were honored in what was the final game of their college careers, as neither Knox squad made the playoffs.
Information from the Knox Athletics Department was used in this report.