(Notre Dame, Ind.) The Holy Cross women's basketball team only trailed once early at the 18:01 mark and never trailed again as they took down NAIA DI University of St. Francis (IL) at the Pfeil Center Tuesday evening.
USF managed to tie the game twice during the first half, but Holy Cross outscored the visiting Saints 21 - 10 over the final 10 minutes of the first half to take a 33 - 22 lead into half.
The Saints kept the same intensity throughout the second half as they did in the first and easily won 67 - 46 to improve their record to 4 - 18 on the year. Holy Cross used stifling defense forcing USF to turn the ball over 26 times. Those 26 turnovers were converted into 26 points for the Saints.
"I thought our girls came out focused and played a great defensive game tonight," said Head Coach Matt Hunsberger. "I thought the girls played a full 40 minutes tonight and they are learning what it takes to win at this level."
Despite being outrebounded 40 - 35, Holy Cross held St. Francis to 29.2% from the field. The Saints shot 40% from the field. Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, Ind.) led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Jillian DeLucia (Fishers, Ind.) chipped in 15 points and recorded 5 steals on the night. Mary Fitzgerald (Livonia, Mich.) and Lauren Malinowski (Dearborn Heights, Mich.) each added 10 points. Julie Schiffler led USF with 12 points.
"Our girls knew that they didn't have their best game against Trinity International and they wanted to put it behind them by playing well tonight. I'm very proud of the way our team focused in the practices leading up to tonight's game and it showed on the court."
The Saints ended their 6 game losing streak and will look forward to Saturday, as they host the red hot Titans of Indiana University - South Bend. IUSB is currently on an 11 game winning streak which included a 71 - 66 victory over the Saints on January 5th.