(Grand Rapids, Mich.) The Saints closed out the 2012 campaign in the 2012 Davenport Holiday Tournament facing the host fifth-ranked Davenport Panthers on Saturday. A hot shooting performance, paired with 45 free-throw attempts, was too much for the Saints in this matchup as they fell to the Panthers 114-61.
An early basket 27 seconds into the game by Maggie Gondeck (Michigan City, Ind.) gave the Saints their only lead of the game against the host Davenport Panthers. A 15-to-4 run ensued for the Panthers as they build up a 10-point lead with 15:00 minutes left in the first half.
Trailing by 14 with 14:11 left in the half, a three-pointer from Megan Eve (Scottsburg, Ind.) cut the deficit for the Saints to 11. Davenport, however, continued to knock down shots in the half and was able to extend their lead to as many as 28 points. The Saints entered the half trailing the Panthers 53-27.
The Panthers shot 50% from the floor paired with 20 free-throw attempts compared to the Saints 31.3% from the floor and 6 free-throw attempts at the break.
The offensive outburst from Davenport continued early on in the second half as they found themselves leading the Saints 81-41 with 12:52 remaining in the game.
Despite having a better shooting half knocking down 37.5% from the field, Davenport countered the Saints with 61 second-half points on 59.4% from the field. The Saints fell to the tournament host Davenport Panthers 114-61.
Lauren Malinowski (Dearborn Heights, Mich.) faced her former team for the first time since the 2009-2010 season as a member of the Panthers and finished with 8 points and a team high 5 assists.
Despite the struggles on Saturday, head coach Aimee Niespodziany found a number of positives over the weekend series.
"Today's game was tough for us coming off our first back-to-back games of the season," said coach Niespodziany. "Davenport is an extremely talented team and that was shown today. I thought we did a number of good things in this tournament after a long layoff and it will all help us as we close out conference play down the stretch."
The Saints, 6-11 (2-7 CCAC), will return to the hardwood with a road contest on Thursday, January 3rd against fellow Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) opponent Trinity International University. The next three matchups for the Saints will all be road contests before the return to McKenna Arena on Saturday, January 12th against #10 Olivet Nazarene University.