(South Bend, Ind.) The Holy Cross Saints women's basketball team headed across town on Thursday night to close out their series with conference rival Indiana University-South Bend. After a tough offensive performance where the Saints couldn't get shots to fall, they fell to the Titans 59-41.
A competitive matchup throughout the first nine minutes had the Saints and Titans tied at 11 after a layup from Saints forward Francesca McCarthy (Terre Haute, Ind.). The Titans, however, would answer McCarthy's game tying bucket with a 10-to-0 run over the next five minutes to get the game back in their control.
Missed shots began to hurt the Saints during the final five minutes of the half and IUSB was able to maintain their advantage. With the lead as high as 11 points, the Saints were able to cut it down to a manageable nine at the break.
The first half proved to be difficult for both teams shooting the ball as the Titans shot a mere 33.3% compared to the Saints 25.9%.
Early in the second half the Saints managed to cut the deficit to single digits at 28-19 before the Titans answered with a 12-to-2 run to extend the lead to as many as 18 points. The Saints, with four players out due to injury and illness, continued to struggle knocking down shots and find an offensive identity. IUSB was very effective at pulling down rebounds and converting on the Saints missed opportunities.
The Saints cut the Titans lead down to as low as 12 points following a three-pointer from freshman Kari Barnes (Fort Wayne, Ind.) but once again, the Titans were able to respond and build the lead 22 points with less than two minutes remaining in the game. IUSB closed out the game with a 59-41 victory and series sweep over the Saints.
Lauren Malinowski (Dearborn Heights, Mich.) led the Saints with 9 points while freshman Kari Barnes scored 8; her second highest total since she scored 11 against Lawrence Tech. on December 10th.
The Saints, 7-13 (3-9 CCAC), will return to action on Saturday, January 12th with a home contest against #6 Olivet Nazarene University. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. EST.