Sports Information Director
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, Ind.) turned in a 28-point and 21-rebound performance on Saturday as the Saints closed out their four-game road trip with the Eagles of Robert Morris University, but it was Robert Morris who would end the day with a 94-77 victory after rallying off 57 second half points and erasing an early Holy Cross lead.
The Saints took control early in Saturday's Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) meeting with the Eagles scoring the first five points and opening up a 15-7 lead three minutes into action. Robert Morris would respond with an 8-0 to tie the game at 15-15 before Lindsey Steffen scored three straight points to jumpstart a 9-0 Saints run.
Kari Barnes (Fort Wayne, Ind.) hit a three-pointer at the 11:31 mark to give the Saints their first double digit lead of the afternoon. Robert Morris would fight to get within five points, but the Saints offense was hitting on all cylinders as they opened up a 16-point lead, their largest of the game, with 2:22 to play. The Eagles closed out the final two minutes with a 6-0 run to bring the score at the break to a 47-37 Saints advantage.
Lindsey Steffen led the way for the Saints with 13 points and 14 rebounds in the first half as they shot 47.2% from the field and made 9-of-10 from the foul line. Perhaps their best offense came on the defensive end, however. The Saints forced the Eagles into nine turnovers which they converted into 19 points.
After extending their lead to 12 points in the early stages of the second half, the Eagles answered back with 11-2 run to make it a one possession game at 51-48. Kari Barnes and Lindsey Steffen responded with a 6-0 run to extend their lead back to nine points.
With a 62-56 lead with 11:42 remaining in the contest, the Eagles offense began to click. Following a basket from Lindsey Steffen, Robert Morris rallied off 12 consecutive points to take their first lead of the afternoon. The Saints would get within four points with 9:05 remaining, but the Eagles would quickly extend their lead to double figures at 76-66.
Mary Fitzgerald (Livonia, Mich.) would bring the Saints within seven points following a basket and free-throw, but once again the Eagles would respond. After a 7-0 run by Robert Morris the Saints found themselves trailing by 14 with 2:54 to play. Shots wouldn't fall for the Saints over the final stretch as the Eagles extended their lead to as many as 18 points before the final horn sounded with a final score of 94-77.
The impressive shooting performance from the Saints in the first half was countered with their fair share of struggles in the second half. Over the final 20 minutes the Saints went 11-for-39 (28.2%) from the field, 0-for-15 from distance and 8-for-15 (53.3%) from the foul line.
Lindsey Steffen scored 15 points in the second half to finish the game with 28 points and a season-high 21 rebounds. Maggie Gondeck (Michigan City, Ind.) added 14 points and eight rebounds while Kari Barnes contributed 12 points off the bench.
Tikeyiah Johnson led all scorers with 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and 10-of-12 from the foul line. Yolanda De La Torre and Celeste Jones added 20 and 19 points, respectively.
Robert Morris went 19-for-34 (55.9%) from the field in the second half.
- Lindsey Steffen grabbed her team-best sixth double-double of the season. The 21 rebound performance matches a career-best which she recorded on Feb. 7, 2012.
- The 58 total rebounds was the second highest total for the Saints this season.
The Saints (8-19, 4-11 CCAC) will return home for the final time during the 2013-2014 regular season on Wednesday, February 19 with a 5:30 pm tip against the University of St. Francis on senior night. Prior to tip on Wednesday night, seven seniors will be honored for their accomplishments while associated with the Holy Cross women's basketball program.