Hughes Lifts SHU Women's Hoops to Win Over Cornerstone
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Nikki Hughes (Tecumseh, Mich./Tecumseh) made the game-winning basket with 2:33 left as the Siena Heights women's basketball team defeated Cornerstone, 58-56, in a Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference matchup on Wednesday. Both squads received votes in the latest NAIA Division II poll.
Hughes, who finished with 12 points, provided the game's final points before the teams combined to go scoreless during the last eight possessions.
Samantha Wolford (Washington, Mich./Romeo) also scored 12 points for SHU. Grace Howrigon (Plainwell, Mich./Plainwell) made five assists and She'Mieka Nicholson (Toledo, Ohio/Scott) had four steals.
After falling behind 15-5 in the opening half, Siena Heights exploded for a 17-2 run, getting six points from Morgan Warfield (Hillsdale, Mich./Camden-Frontier) and four from Wolford, to snag a 22-17 advantage. The visitors eventually carried a 29-27 lead into halftime.
During the second, the teams jockeyed for the lead until the Saints went on a 10-2 run -- led by four points by Amanda Duke (Flat Rock, Mich./Gabriel Richard) -- and took a 50-41 lead with 11:54 remaining. At that point, Golden Eagles made a late rally, forging a 56-56 tie. Hughes then gave SHU the lead for good.
The Saints had chances to extend their lead, but missed one shot from the field and another shot from the free throw line. They also committed two turnovers. At the opposite end, Cornerstone was 0-for-2 from the field and 0-for-2 from the line during its final four possessions.
Melissa Veltkamp led the Eagle effort with a double-double, finishing with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Samantha Flietstra and Ashley Moon added 10 points apiece.
Cornerstone (12-7, 5-2) lost the turnover battle, 22-13, and did not convert any of SHU's giveaways into points. Meanwhile, the Saints had 16 points off of Eagle turnovers. Also, SHU's bench outscored Cornerstone's, 30-9.
The Saints (12-7, 4-3) will return to action on Saturday when they visit WHAC opponent Indiana Tech for a 3 p.m. tip-off.