Sports Information Director
GOSHEN, Ind. -- The Holy Cross Saints women's basketball team capped off their two-game road trip at Goshen on Saturday night with a 79-76 victory over the Maple Leafs. Senior Lindsey Steffen (Nappanee, Ind.) scored 16 of her game-high 20 points in the second half as the Saints picked up their first win of the 2013-2014 season.
"The girls did a much better job of being aggressive and it really paid off," said head coach Aimee Niespodziany. "We were able to attack the basket, play aggressive defense and pick up a much needed win."
The Saints hit 13-of-23 (56.5%) from the floor in the first half on Saturday night to keep pace with the aggressive attack from the Maple Leafs. Despite shooting 37.9% from the floor in the half, Goshen got to the line 23 times in the first 20 minutes as the score was tied at 38-38.
Holy Cross opened up an 11 point lead five minutes into the second half, their largest of the night, but the Maple Leafs were quick to respond as the game was one again tied with 12:06 to play.
The Saints responded to the 11-0 run by Goshen with a 7-0 run themselves which was capped off with a jumper from Carmen Lowe (Fort Wayne, Ind.) to make it a 60-53 game with a little more than 10 minutes to play.
Over the final 10 minutes the Saints were able to keep the lead despite some late runs by Goshen.
Lindsey Steffen was a big factor in the second half as she was able to get to the foul line 12 times while knocking down eight of them. Steffen finished the half with 16 of her game-high 20 points and also pulled down eight of her team-high nine rebounds.
"Lindsey did a great job tonight," continued Niespodziany. "She was aggressive on the block and converted her free-throws at a high percentage. Her energy and aggressiveness really helped us hold on to the lead down the stretch."
Despite turning the ball over 20 times in the game, the Saints defense did a great job of limiting Goshen's opportunities. The Maple Leafs scored only nine points off those turnovers. Conversely, the Saints forced Goshen into 21 turnovers while turning them into 16 points.
The Saints got to the free-thrown line 39 times in the game and knocked down 28 of those attempts (71.8%).
With the win, the Saints improve to 1-2 on the young 2013-2014 season and will now enjoy a three-game home stand which begins Tuesday night as they host Huntington (Ind.) University. The game is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. EST.