St. Ambrose shook off a shaky third quarter to close the regular season with a 61-53 win at Governors State Saturday afternoon.
The Bees outscored the Jaguars 14-4 over the final four minutes to move to 11-7 overall and 6-5 in the CCAC.
SAU saw a 10-point halftime lead disappear in a third quarter in which they were outscored 21-9. The Bees trailed by as many as four points in the final period before coming alive down the stretch.
With the deficit at 49-47, Maddy Cash hit two free throws to draw the teams even. After a couple defensive stops, Kylie Wroblewski scored to give St. Ambrose the lead. After Governors State (8-12, 6-4 CCAC) missed a 3-pointer, Jamie Martens scored on a runner to up the lead to 51-47.
From there, SAU sealed the win from the line. The Jaguars got within 51-49, but Wroblewski hit two free throws to restore a four-point lead. Martens and Cash each hit two free throws in the final 20 seconds to account for the final score.
Over the final run, SAU limited GSU to just one field goal in eight attempts.
Dragged down by shooting 4-of-17 in the third, the Bees shot just under 42 percent from the floor for the game. They connected on 2-of-10 from beyond the arc, both threes coming from Cash.
But the St. Ambrose defense more than held its own. The Bees limited the Jaguars to 33.3 percent shooting overall and a 4-of-24 mark from 3-point range.
That defense helped the Bees recover from an early 16-9 deficit. An 8-2 run to close the first quarter was followed by a 13-2 run to open the second to give St. Ambrose a 30-20 lead. The Jaguars were just 2-of-15 from the floor in the second frame as they were outscored by the Bees 15-4.
Cash led SAU with 18 points. Wroblewski came off the bench to finish with 16 points and six rebounds. Madeline Prestegaard added 10 points. Martens totaled four points, six boards, seven assists, a block and a steal. The Bees were credited with 20 assists on 23 made field goals.
The Bees begin postseason play Tuesday with the first round of the CCAC Tournament. Pairings will be announced sometime this weekend.