(Notre Dame, Ind.) The Holy Cross Saints women's basketball team opened up Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) play Saturday afternoon with a home game against cross-town rival IUSB. A rough shooting night for both teams, points were a premium down the stretch. Despite a small first half lead, the Saints fell to the Titans 70-63 in their first conference game of the season.
Saturday's meeting was the 7th time the two programs have faced off with IUSB leading the all-time series at 5-1.
The first half of play was a tough shooting performance for both teams. The Saints shot just 9-38 from the field (23.7%), while the Titans shot 8-31 (25.8%). Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, Ind.) got the Saints going in the first half with 11 points and 6 rebounds. The Saints went into the break with a 28-27 lead over IUSB.
IUSB came out strong in the second half and was able to build up a 13 point lead over the Saints halfway through the period.
Saints guard Lauren Malinowski (Dearborn Heights, Mich.) helped start a run that tied the game at 59 with 1:55 remaining. It was then fouls that hurt the Saints in the last two minutes. IUSB scored 11 points in the final 2 minutes, all on foul shots, which proved to be the difference maker in the game.
The Saints received double digit scorers from both Lindsey Steffen and Lauren Malinowski. Steffen finished the game with 17 points on 6-14 shooting, 7 rebounds, and 5 steals. Malinowski would go on to finish with 15 points (12 in the second half) on 4-11 shooting, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists.
IUSB was able to control the class Saturday out rebounding the Saints 53 to 29. The Saints also only managed to hit 24.3% of their field goals.
"We weren't able to knock down shots today," said Saints head coach Aimee Niespodziany. "They were able to control the rebounds and get second chance looks and that really hurt us. I'm proud of how the girls didn't give up when we got down double figures in the second half. We rallied and got back into the game, but just ran out of time. We'll study the film and get back after it to be prepared for next week."
The loss for the Saints drops their season record to 1-3 (0-1 CCAC) on the season. They will continue conference play on Wednesday, November 14th at Olivet Nazarene University. The next home game for the Saints will be the following Saturday, November 17th against Roosevelt University. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.