St. Ambrose wrapped up the Midwest Collegiate Conference regular-season championship with an 89-82 win over Viterbo Wednesday night on SAU's annual Pink Out Night.
The win guaranteed the Bees a share of the conference crown, and minutes later, Clarke knocked off second-place Mount Mercy to give SAU the outright title.
No. 15 St. Ambrose has won 15 straight, the fifth-longest stretch in program history, and moves to 21-5 overall and a perfect 10-0 in the MCC.
Behind 19 points from Lauren Cash and 18 from Katie Jensen, the Bees led comfortably throughout most of Wednesday's win. A 14-0 run midway through the first half extended a seven-point lead to a 30-9 bulge. Cash and Jensen each had five points during the run.
SAU still led by 20 after a Sydney Greiner 3-pointer with six minutes left, but then Viterbo (1-24, 0-9 MCC) made things interesting. The V-Hawks pulled to within single digits in the final minute and got as close as six points in the last 16 seconds, but Brette Logic, Nora Masterson and Deanna Busse each hit free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.
The Bees shot 52.5 percent from the floor and limited the V-Hawks to just 38 percent shooting. SAU also dominated inside offensively, finishing with 44 points in the paint.
Cash hit all four of her 3-point attempts and finished 5-of-8 overall from the field. Jensen was 7-of-9 and hit her only 3-point attempt. Shelby Steger scored nine points and Devan Griffin added eight as the Bee reserves combined for 31 points. Greiner, Ashley Dexter and Lauren Brummel each scored seven points. Twelve different SAU players scored in the win.
St. Ambrose has three regular season games remaining, starting with Saturday's non-conference home game vs. Ashford at 1 p.m. Thanks to winning the regular season championship, the Bees earn home-court advantage throughout the MCC Tournament and receive a first-round bye. SAU will host a semifinal on Saturday, Mar. 1. The championship game will be Monday, Mar. 3.
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