Sports Information Director
PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. – The Holy Cross women's basketball team continued Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action on the road on Wednesday evening facing off against the Trolls of Trinity Christian College. Despite the struggles on offense and trailing for nearly the entire game, the Saints rallied in the second half to take a three-point lead. However, it was the execution down the stretch of the Trolls which proved to be too much as the Saints fell 59-53. With the loss, the Saints fall to 5-13 overall and 2-5 in the CCAC.
Offensive struggles throughout the first half were apparent for both teams as neither team shot over 32% from the field. A 9-fo-42 performance by the Saints, including 0-fo-10 from three-point distance, had them trailing the entire half and by as many as 10 points.
Starring at a 10-point deficit, the Saints rallied off a 10-3 run to cut the Trolls lead to 20-17 following the jumper from junior Maggie Gondeck (Michigan City, Ind.). The recent surge was short lived, however. Over the final seven minutes of the first half, the Saints scored just two points and found themselves down by nine points at the break. Trinity Christian didn't shoot the ball particularly well in the half, finishing 10-for-32 (31.3%). However, of their 10 made shots, five were from distance. Holy Cross was 0-for-10 from three-point range.
The Trolls quickly extended their lead to 11 points early in the second half following a pair of free-throws by Caitlin Cody. The ensuing five-minute stretch, consisting of a 13-2 Holy Cross run, helped the Saints get back into the game and cutting the deficit to just two points. The success continued for the Saints as they took their first lead since the opening minutes following a jumper from Kari Barnes (Fort Wayne, Ind.). The lead was extended to three points following a pair of free-throws from Jillian DeLucia (Fishers, Ind.) and it looked like the Saints were ready to seize control.
Trinity Christian would respond to take a two point lead before Kari Barnes knocked down a three-pointer to give the Saints the 40-39 advantage. Following the basket from Barnes, the game would go down to the wire. Trailing by one with 1:17 remaining and the ball, a turnover resulting in a technical foul took the momentum from the Saints. The Trolls would knock down both free-throws and score on their possession to extend their lead to five points. The Saints were unable to make a shot from the field until there were two seconds left on the clock. A successful inbounding of the ball gave Trinity Christian (6-13, 2-6 CCAC) the 59-53 victory.
Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, Ind.) was the lone Holy Cross player to record double figures in points. Steffen finished the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season.
Jillian DeLucia added eight points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals off the bench while Maggie Gondeck finished with a team-high 13 rebounds.
- The 24.4% from the field was the lowest for the Saints team this season. The team last shot under 30% against Davenport University on Dec. 27 (29.4%).
- The 23 offensive rebounds was the second highest the team has recorded this season. The Saints grabbed 26 offensive rebounds against Olivet Nazarene on Dec. 7.
- Six turnovers was the lowest total for the team this season. It was the first time this year they've had less than 11.
The Saints will return to McKenna Arena on Saturday, Jan. 18 with a CCAC matchup against Roosevelt University. The Saints are 0-3 all-time against the Lakers.