(Ann Arbor, Michigan) The Holy Cross Women's Basketball played their fourth ranked team in four games as they opened on the road tonight against the eighth ranked team in the country Concordia University at Ann Arbor.
The Saints brutal opening schedule continued tonight as they lost in their road opener to the #8 Concordia University of Ann Arbor 109-76.
Concordia was too hot from behind the arc as they hit fifteen 3 pointers on the night sending a dagger through the heart of the visiting Saints. The Cardinals would finish the game going 15-28 from behind the 3 point arc which is a mind boggling 54 percent overall for the evening. The hot shooting, and the 44-26 margin on the boards ultimately crippled the Saints as they could not comeback from such a setback. The Cardinals were hot all night as they finished the game going 43-75 from the field for a shooting percentage of 57.3.
The Saints did have some bright spots as they shot pretty well on their own finishing the game going 28-61 which is 46 percent from the field. They did create 22 turnovers to only giving up 20 for the game, and finished the game with 12 steals on the night.
"We just didn't close out the shooters. They (Concordia) went 1-19 from behind the 3 point line last Saturday, and tonight they came out and couldn't miss. It was our first real road game of the season, and we just came out flat. We have played 4 straight nationally ranked opponents, and you just can't afford to let the little things constantly beat you when you are playing that quality of competition. My girls played hard though, and we will look to get better for our next game on Saturday," said first year Head Coach Aimee Litka.
The Cardinals were led by Brittany Simmons who finished the game with 23 points and 4 assists. Marion Rodriguez was the shooter from the behind the arc for the Cardinals as she finished with 20 points and went 4-6 from the behind the arc. Guard Kelly Cieslak led the attack for the Cardinals chipping in 13 points, but also dishing out a game high 8 assists on the night.
The Saints were led by the stellar performance of Sophomore Forward Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, IN) who scored a game high 26 points, a team high 6 rebounds, and a game high 6 steals on the night. Junior Guard Lauren Malinowski (Dearborn Heights, Michigan) chipped in 16 points and 4 assists on the evening. Freshman Shelbi Westerhouse (Valparaiso, IN) had another nice game for the Saints adding 8 points going a perfect 3 for 3 from the field, and also added 2 steals of her own for the visiting Saints.
"The schedule doesn't get any easier as we have been tested early and often in our non-conference slate. Indiana University Northwest is currently ranked 18th in the country, and it is important we bounce back, and be ready to play at home on Saturday. These games, however, will definitely prepare us when we start to hit our conference schedule next week. We just have to keep working hard in practice, and being successful on a daily basis and the wins will come. This was a learning experience on the road against a very challenging opponent. Concordia deserves all the credit as they were the better team tonight," said Coach Litka.
Holy Cross is now 0-5 on the season. The Saints return home this Saturday to play their 5th ranked team in as many games as they host the 18th ranked team in the NAIA, Indiana University Northwest on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The game will be played at McKenna Arena at the Pfeil Center. It will be the first game game of a double header with Men's Team playing Great Lakes Christian College immediately after at 3:00 p.m.