Sports Information Director
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – The Holy Cross women's basketball team suffered their first loss in the month of February on Saturday afternoon against Olivet Nazarene University in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action. Despite shooting the ball effectively from the field and reaching 92 points, the ability to shoot from the beyond the arc by the host Tigers led to a 125-92 loss for the Saints. Five players reached double figured scoring numbers in the effort, led by Francesca McCarthy (Terre Haute, Ind.) with a team-high 17 points.
A strong start offensively for the Tigers helped them quickly push out to a 10-point advantage less than five minutes into Saturday's conference showdown. With their lead reaching as many as 33 points, the Saints would have to do all they could to keep pace with the high-powered offense by Olivet Nazarene.
Ball security was an issue in the first half as the Saints turned the ball over 15 times which Olivet Nazarene converted into 24 points. Despite the turnovers, the Saints managed to shoot 54.8% from the floor in the first half on their way to 40 points; however, the Tigers shot 55.3% from the floor and 11-of-20 from distance to open up a 65-40 advantage at the break.
With a significant advantage through the first half, the Tigers were able to keep things difficult with the Saints by a holding their lead at 20 points or more for the first nine minutes of the second half. Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, Ind.) knocked down back-to-back baskets to bring the Saints within 19 points at the near midway point of the half to cap off an 8-2 run. Unfortunately for the Saints, this would be as close as they would get for the remainder of the game.
The Tigers grabbed 13 offensive rebounds which they converted into 20 second-chance points in the second half as they would hold on to defeat the Saints 125-92.
The Tiger duo of Miranda Geever (30) and Liz Bart (25) combined for 55 points to lead Olivet. Bart knocked down a game-high seven three-pointers while going 8-of-14 from the field for the game while Geever went 4-for-5 from distance and 9-for-13 from the field.
Francesca McCarthy led the way for the Saints with a season-high 17 points off the bench including a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line. Lindsey Steffen and Maggie Gondeck (Michigan City, Ind.) added 14 points each while Jillian DeLucia (Fishers, Ind.) and Kari Barnes (Fort Wayne, Ind.) added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
The Saints finished the game 34-for-74 (45.9%) from the floor and 22-of-25 from the foul line.
- Lindsey Steffen saw her streak of double digit rebound totals come to an end in the loss after finishing with four. Steffen is currently 13 rebounds away from 1,000 in her career.
- Jillian DeLucia matched her season-high with eight rebounds during the game. DeLucia also grabbed dished out eight assists for her team-high 107 on the season.
- Maggie Gondeck has now scored 11 or more points and grabbed five or more rebounds in each of her last four games.
- Freshman Shana Anderson (Bourbon, Ind.) set a new season-high with seven rebounds.
The Saints (7-17, 3-9 CCAC) will quickly return to action on Monday, February 10 with a road conference matchup against the Eagles of Judson University. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 pm EST.