(Notre Dame, Ind.) The Holy Cross Saints women's basketball team picked up their fifth win of the season over Lawrence Technological University on Monday night defeating the Blue Devils 72-65.
A strong start to the game had the Saints cruising to an early 20 point lead over the Blue Devils leading 26-6 with 12:18 remaining in the first half. The Blue Devils, however, would not go away easy; a 20-8 run, where the Saints were held scoreless for three minutes, cut their lead to only 8 points at the half.
At the break, the Saints held a 34-26 advantage.
Lauren Malinowski (Dearborn Heights, Mich.) got the Saints offense flowing in the first half recording 7 assists with only 1 turnover in 11 minutes of action.
The Saints were able to force 16 Blue Devils turnovers in the first half which they converted into 13 points. Of the 34 points scored in the half, 22 were scored in the paint.
With the second half underway, the Blue Devils came out fast with a 12-3 run to take their first lead of the game at 38-37 with 16:22 remaining in the game. From the 12:18 mark, where the Saints held a 26-6 lead, Lawrence Tech. went on a 31-12 run to take the lead over the Saints early in the second half. The Blue Devils would increase their lead to two points at 40-38 at the 15:48 mark, their largest lead of the game.
The Saints, however, would not let the Blue Devils lead last long. After trailing by two early in the second half, baskets from Francesca McCarthy (Terre Haute, Ind.) and Maggie Gondeck (Michigan City, Ind.) put the Saints back in front by four points. While Lawrence Tech was able to tie the game back up at 44 apiece, the Saints would never let the lead slip away again.
Freshman guard Kari Barnes (Fort Wayne, Ind.) came up big in the second half for the Saints. Barnes knocked down 3-8 shots from the field for 9 of her career high 11 points in the second half. After hitting two free-throws with 20 seconds left, the Saints built their lead up to 9. A layup in the last 5 seconds for the Blue Devils cut the lead to 7, but the Saints were able to dribble out the clock and pick up their second straight victory.
For the second game in a row, Francesca McCarthy led the Saints in scoring with 17 points. Just one rebound shy of her second double-double in as many games, McCarthy led the Saints with 9 rebounds.
Maggie Gondeck was extremely productive off the bench for the Saints hitting 7-10 shots from the field for 14 points. Gondeck also finished with 8 rebounds on the night.
Lauren Malinowski, despite playing limited minutes due to foul trouble, finished with 8 points and a season high 9 assists.
"We came out very strong in the early stages of the game, but found ourselves in trouble early in the second half," said head coach Aimee Niespodziany. "Despite falling behind, we were able to rebound and get control back in our favor. We had a lot of girls step up with two of our key players out. It feels really good to get back to back wins."
The Saints, 5-8 (2-5 CCAC), are off to the best 13 game start in the short history of the program and will return to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action on Saturday, December 15th on the road at Purdue University Calumet. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.