Sports Information Director
(WC) Holy Cross (8-21, 4-13 CCAC)
Game #30: Monday, Feb. 24 - 6:00 p.m.
vs. (No. 4 North) Robert Morris (16-10, 11-7 CCAC)
McKenna Arena (Notre Dame, Ind.)
CCAC Tournament Wild Card Round
Next Up in Saints Basketball: The Saints are set to open up Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) postseason play on Monday night as they will host the No. 4 seeded Robert Morris University Eagles from the North Division.
Following the Saints: Monday night's meeting with the Eagles, like all Saints home games, can be seen live online courtesy of the Regional Radio Sports Network (RRSN). Links can be found on the women's basketball page at hcsaints.com under the tab "live video." Duane Lewandowski and Matt Kopsea will be on the call.
Last Time Out: The Saints wrapped up the regular season on Saturday afternoon on the road against the Calumet St. Joseph Crimson Wave. Struggles continued on the offensive end for the Saints as they went just 15-for-57 (26.3%) while turning the ball over 23 times. They managed one lead early in the game, at 2-0, before the Crimson Wave took over and defeated the Saints 72-58. Mary Fitzgerald (SR, Livonia, Mich.) was the lone player for the Saints to reach double figures with 12 points on 4-for-12 from the field and 3-for-4 from distance. The loss was the fourth consecutive for the Saints.
Head Coach Aimee Niespodziany: Entering her third season as head coach of the women's basketball team, Niespodziany has helped guide the Saints to back-to-back 10-win seasons. In her tenure as head coach, Niespodziany holds a career record of 28-64 and has coached two players who have made First Team All-CCAC selections. In 28 regular season games, the Saints finished 8-21 overall and 4-13 in CCAC play.
Series Notes: Monday night's meeting with Robert Morris will be the sixth all-time between the two programs in a series dating back to the 2009-2010 season. The Eagles have won the previous five meetings, including earlier this month by a score of 94-77 in Arlington Heights, Ill. This specific meeting with Robert Morris will be the first time that the two of squared off against one another in the postseason.
Last Time vs. RMU: The two schools last met earlier this month on February 15 in Arlington Heights, Ill. where the Eagles came out victorious by a score of 94-77. The Saints developed a 16-point lead with 2:22 remaining in the first half before the Eagles closed out with a 6-0 run to cut the Saints lead to 10. Holding a nine-point advantage with 14:11 left in the game, the Saints soon saw their lead disappear. Robert Morris took the lead with 10:19 remaining and never looked back. Offense was more of an issue for the Saints in the second half as they went just 11-for-39 (28.2%) from the field and 0-for-15 from beyond the arc. The Eagles would completely dominate the second half, led by Tikeyiah Johnson's game-high 32, to knock off the Saints. Lindsey Steffen (SR, Nappanee, Ind.) grabbed her sixth double-double of the season with 28 points and a career-best 21 rebounds.
Looking at the Eagles: The Eagles enter the postseason on a three-game winning streak to close out the regular season ... they finished the regular season with fifth best scoring offense at 78.7 points per contest ... the Eagles led the CCAC in blocked shots per game at 6.1 and third in steals per game at 11.8 ... four Eagles players ranked in the top-30 of the CCAC in scoring: Tikeyiah Johnson (6th, 18.5 ppg), Yolanda De La Torre (8th, 18.0 ppg), Jailyn Norris (20th, 13.0 ppg) and Celeste Jones (23rd, 12.3 ppg) round out the group ... De La Torre finished the regular season as one of three CCAC women's basketball players to average double figured rebound numbers (2nd, 11.4 rpg) ... Jones (4th, 4.6 apg) and Johnson (8th, 4.0 apg) provide a productive duo of distributing the ball ... Jones (3rd, 2.7 spg), De La Torre (12th, 2.0 spg) and Norris (13th, 2.0 spg) all average at least two steals per game.
New Opportunity: Despite dropping their final four games of the regular season and finishing last in the CCAC South Division, the Saints were granted an opportunity to not only make the conference tournament but to host a tournament game. Now is there chance to make a statement in the first-ever home playoff game in Saints women's basketball history.
DeLucia Milestone: After handing out one assist in their regular season finale on Saturday, senior Jillian DeLucia (SR, Fishers, Ind.) became the all-time leader in assists with 377.
This and That: Lindsey Steffen enters the postseason matchup one-point shy of 1,700 in her career ... the 2014 graduating class is 1-2 in CCAC playoff games ... the Saints are one of two teams with less than 10 wins to make the CCAC postseason this year ... a win would send them to top-seeded Purdue Calumet on Wednesday night.