(Winona Lake, Ind.) The Holy Cross Saints women's basketball team opened the 2012-13 season on the road against the Grace College Lancers. After a close 1st half, the Saints fell to Grace 80-66.
Entering the season coming off the programs first ever playoff win, the Saints looked to open the season strong on the road against Grace College.
Early foul trouble on three key players forced the Saints to have to go to their bench earlier than they would prefer. This wouldn't stop the Saints from keeping it close in the 1st half as they entered the break trailing the Lancers by 6 at 34-28.
"Getting in foul trouble early with some key players was tough, but I thought we responded well in the 1st half keeping it close," stated Saints head coach Aimee Niespodziany.
As the 2nd half went on, the Saints struggled to match the rebounding of the Lancers. The Saints were out rebounded 34-24.
The fouls began to add up giving Grace 26 free-throws compared to the Saints 12.
Grace was able to build up their 1st half lead to 16 with 5:51 remaining in the game, but the Saints never gave up.
A three-point shot by Jillian DeLucia (Fishers, Ind.) cut the Lancers lead to 8 with 1:16 remaining in the game, but the Saints were forced to foul to preserve the clock.
2012 1st team all-conference guard Lauren Malinowski (Dearborn Heights, Mich.) led the Saints in scoring with 16 points.
Fellow 1st team all-conference forward Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, Ind.) chipped in with 11 points and 9 rebounds on 3 of 7 shooting.
"Overall I thought there were a lot of good things to come out of today's game," said coach Niespodziany. "We were tested early on getting in foul trouble, but I thought the girls responded well. It's tough to win when you get out rebounded like we did, but that's something we can work on. We will take the positives from this game and keep working to prepare for our next game."
The Saints will follow today's game with a scrimmage against Huntington University on Wednesday, and continue regular season play with their home opener on Friday, November 2nd against Goshen College. Tip-off is set for 7:00pm EST at McKenna Arena.