(Notre Dame, IN) The Holy Cross Women's Basketball Team took on fellow CCAC opponent Calumet College of St. Joseph at McKenna Arena in the Pfeil Center tonight.
A strong performance by sophomore Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, IN) propelled the Saints against the visiting Crimson Wave of Calumet College of St. Joseph 82-60. Steffen finished the game with a double-double leading the Saints in both scoring and rebounding. Steffen finished the night with 25 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. It is her 8th double-double of the season.
The game started out back and forth, and it looked as if Holy Cross needed to claw and scratch for it's second conference win of the season.
The Saints started out great jumping out to a 7-0 lead in the first five minutes of play. But after a Crimson Wave time-out Calumet went on a 7-0 run of their own tying the game 7-7 in just 2:00 minutes of action.
Holy Cross did not waiver, however, as they went on a 27-12 run over the next ten minutes of play. The Saints used that run to head into halftime up 13 points with the score 44-31.
Steffen almost clinched her double-double in the first half scoring 13 points and hauling down 8 rebounds heading into the break. Junior Lauren Malinowski (Dearborn Heights, MI) chipped in 6 points, and sophomore Kristin Nitka (Chicago, IL) had a strong showing off the bench going 2 for 2 from behind the three point line and recording 6 points heading into halftime.
"I really liked the way we finished the half off. It got a bit shaky for about 5 minutes there, but after I called a timeout, and challenged them to work harder they really responded with a great effort the last 10 minutes of the half I really think the girls fed off the energy of Lindsey (Steffen) as she really brought her "A" game today against Calumet," said Head Coach Aimee Litka.
Halftime did not stop the energy the Saints had at the end of the first half as they came out of the locker room motivated to build on the thirteen point lead they had at the end of the first half.
Holy Cross opened the second half with 22-9 run leading the Crimson Wave 66-40 with ten minutes to go in the game. The Saints opened the lead to as many as 31 points throughout the rest of the game, but ended up winning the game by 22 points 82-60.
Nitka had a great showing off the bench, and freshman Maggie Gondeck (Michigan City, IN), who was slotted into the starting lineup tonight, had 10 points a piece. Nitka finished the game perfect from the three point line going 3-3, and Gondeck had a strong second half scoring 7 of her 10 points in the second half.
"I thought Kristin gave us a great boost from the bench, and Maggie gave a a presence down low throughout the game. This was a great win for us. We didn't really play that well against Cardinal Stritch on Saturday, and I was proud about the way our girls responded tonight," said Coach Litka.
Holy Cross is now 5-13 on the year, and 2-3 in the CCAC which is good for a tie in third place and a half game out of second place behind Judson. The Saints tied a school record tonight with 5 wins on the season. Calumet drops to 0-5 in the conference and 2-17 overall. The Saints plays at Trinity International on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and that game is followed by the men playing at 8:30 p.m.