(Notre Dame, IN) The Holy Cross Women's Basketball Team took on CCAC Division I newcomer Roosevelt University tonight at McKenna Arena in the Pfeil Center.
It was a one point game at half, and it looked as if it was going down to the wire, but the Lakers of Roosevelt University pulled away late and beat the Saints 78-63 in McKenna Arena at the Pfeil Center tonight.
The game opened up well for Holy Cross as sophomore guard Kristin Nitka (Chicago, IL) took advantage of her first start of the year hitting back to back three pointers to give Holy Cross an early 6-0 advantage.
The Saints held that six point lead, and even went up as much as eight points over the next ten minutes of action. The visiting Lakers, however, found there rhythm on the offensive end late in the first half. Roosevelt capped a 10-4 run at the end of the half with a buzzer beating lay-up to lead by one entering the break at 32-31.
Nitka and sophomore Francesca McCarthy (Terre Haute, IN) led the Saints with six points a piece. Sophomore Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, IN) hauled down 7 first half rebounds, and sophomore Jillian DeLucia (Fishers, IN) led the Saints with 8 rebounds.
"I thought we had to do a better job of not turning the ball over, and giving them second chances. We had 11 first half turnovers, and gave up 9 offensive rebounds. That is too many second half opportunities for them. We were down only one point, but they took ten more shots than we did. If we could clean up that part of the game I felt we had a great chance of winning heading into the second half," said Head Coach Aimee Litka.
The second half started off the same way the first half ended as it was back and forth as no team could gain an upper hand on the other. Holy Cross held a six point advantage with just over ten minutes remaining, but after Roosevelt took a timeout they came out with a new vigor that the Saints had trouble matching for the rest of the game.
The Lakers went on a 22-8 run in the span of four minutes to take a 62-54 lead with five minutes remaining in the contest. The Saints could not get anything going offensively as the Lakers picked up the energy on the defensive end. Holy Cross cut the lead to five points, but the Lakers bounced back to push the lead to 11 points with two minutes remaining.
After fouling and some free throws the Lakers pushed the lead to 15 points, and it's final score as Holy Cross lost 78-63.
Steffen recorded her eleventh double-double of the year as her and Nitka led the Saints with 11 points, and Steffen hauled in 11 rebounds rounding out her double-double. McCarthy chipped in ten points respectively, and DeLucia had a career high eleven rebounds on the night as well.
"I felt the score didn't indicate how close this game was for much of it. I have to give credit to Roosevelt they really amped up the energy defensively as the game went on and we had trouble matching it at the end. We just have to find a way to dig a little deeper late in games so we can close them out better," said Coach Litka.
The Saints fall to 5-16 on the year and are 2-4 in the CCAC. They play crosstown rival IUSB at IUSB at noon on Saturday. It is double header with the men who play at 2:00 p.m. Both games will have a live video feed on the internet if you cannot make it.