(Whiting, Ind.) The Holy Cross Saints women's basketball program saw their season come to closure Monday night against the Crimson Wave of Calumet College of St. Joseph in the opening round of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) tournament after a 51-40 defeat in Whiting, Indiana. Offensive woes, turnovers and missed opportunities at the foul line limited the Saints production which the Crimson Wave capitalized late in the second half to secure the victory. The Saints finished the season with a 10-21 overall record, matching their 2011-2012 season best with 10 wins.
"What it came down is that we just didn't execute enough offensively down the stretch," said head coach Aimee Niespodziany." "We didn't shoot particularly well during the game, but still had an opportunity to get the win. Unfortunately tonight just wasn't our night."
Despite a slow start offensively where the Saints didn't score a point until the 15:47 mark of the first half, the Saints found themselves only trailing the Crimson Wave by one point at 25-24 after the first twenty minutes. After hitting just 7-of-24 (29/2%) shots, the Saints were efficient at the foul line knocking down 7-of-8 attempts to keep the game within reach.
Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, Ind.) and Lauren Malinowski (Dearborn Heights, Mich.) produced the majority of the Saints offense in the opening half scoring 17 of the teams 24 points. Steffen paved the way for Holy Cross with 9 points and 4 rebounds while hitting 5-of-6 free-throw attempts.
An early 9-3 run by the Saints in the second half helped them build up their largest lead of the game at 33-28 with 16:20 still to play in the second half. An 8-2 run by the Crimson Wave, however, put the momentum back in the hands of Calumet St. Joe and really put the pressure on the Saints to start knocking down shots.
Jillian DeLucia (Fishers, Ind.) knotted the game at 36-36 with 9:56 left in the game before the Crimson Wave turned in an 11-0 run to put the Saints in trouble with 3:34 left to play.
Holy Cross, unfortunately, was unable to significantly cut into the recent surge by the Crimson Wave scoring only four points in the game's final ten minutes leading to a 51-40 win by Calumet College and the conclusion to the Saints season.
The loss for to the Crimson Wave was the third this season for Holy Cross.
Lindsey Steffen paved the way for Holy Cross scoring 12 points and pulling down 11 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the season. Lauren Malinowski, also reaching double figures, scored 11 points while hitting 3-of-8 shots from beyond the arc.
The Saints were outscored in the second half 26-16 while hitting just 6-of-27 (22.2%) shots making it a game total of 13-for-51 (25.5%) from the floor. After hitting 7-of-8 shots from the foul line in the first half, the Saints made only 3-of-10 in the second.
"That big second half run really hurt us," said coach Niespodziany referring to the 11-0 run by the Crimson Wave. "Unfortunately for our team and our seniors, this was the last game of the season. We had a lot of positive moments this year, but just couldn't finish it off tonight."
With the 2012-2013 women's basketball season in the books, stay tuned to hcsaints.com in the off-season for updates on the Saints team. On behalf of Holy Cross College Athletics, we'd like to congratulate the Saints on another impressive season. We will see you again next season! Until then, enjoy the off-season, and most importantly, GO SAINTS!