(Grand Rapids, Mich.) The Holy Cross Saints women's basketball team took part in day one of the two-day Davenport Holiday Tournament on Friday evening with their first matchup against the Mustangs of Marygrove College. In a game where the Saints led for nearly the entire game, Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, Ind.) turned in a dominant performance that led the Saints to a 64-50 victory over the Mustangs.
The Mustangs were first to get on the board in this contest at 2-0 after a jumper from Keara Marks. This 2-0 lead, however, would be the only lead the Mustangs would hold the entire game. After the initial 2-0 lead for Marygrove, the Saints used a 14-0 run to build up an early 12-point lead. Marygrove would cut the Saints lead to as little as five, however, the Saints were able to rebound and take a 31-23 lead into the break.
Points in the paint, paired with second chance points, were very key for the Saints in the first half. The Saints held the advantage at 9-to-1 in second chance points and 18-to-4 in points in the paint.
Lindsey Steffen and Angela Byrd (Harvey, Ill.) led the Saints at the break with 8-points each.
A quick 5-to-0 run by the Saints to start the second half brought their lead back to double-figures. With the Saints in control in the second half Marygrove was able to cut the deficit to 10-points with 13:34 remaining, but were unable to get under the double-figure deficit.
A lay-up by Megan Eve (Scottsburg, Ind.) gave the Saints a 21-point lead with 2:13 left in the game; their largest lead of the game at 64-to-43. The Mustangs used a 7-to-0 run to close out the game and give the Saints their sixth win of the season.
Lindsey Steffen's 13-point and 7 rebound second half gave her a monster double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Lauren Malinowski (Dearborn Heights, Mich.) flirted with a triple-double as she finished with a 7 point, 11 rebound, and 8 assist night.
"I thought we came out strong as a team and really set the tempo to how we wanted to play," said head coach Aimee Niespodziany. "We didn't let up in the second half and were able to pick up a nice win for our team coming off a 10-day layoff. Tomorrow will be a big test for us facing a top five team, so we need to make sure to come out with the same level of intensity."
The Saints, 6-10 (2-7 CCAC), will close out 2012 and the Davenport Holiday Tournament with a game against the host Davenport University Panthers. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. EST. Live stats and live video can be found here: http://www.dupanthers.com/sports/2012/12/4/WBB_1204120312.aspx?path=wbball