#16 SHU Women Struggle To Keep Up With #4 Saint Francis

#16 SHU Women Struggle To Keep Up With #4 Saint Francis

ADRIAN, Mich. -- The 16th-ranked Siena Heights women's basketball team struggled to keep up with fourth-ranked Saint Francis (Ind.), falling 76-56 in the SHU Thanksgiving Tournament championship game on Sunday at the SHU Fieldhouse.

Mackenzie Tomasik scored 16 points while Jennifer Jasinski pulled down 11 rebounds for the Saints (5-3).

Akyah Taylor had a double-double for USF, finishing with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Skylarr Shurn added 18 points, Brooke Ridley contributed 10 points and five assists, and Jenelle Wilson came through with five steals for the Cougars (10-0).

Siena Heights was strong out of the gate, taking a 5-0 lead before Saint Francis used a five-point run of its own to pull even at 7-7.

The Cougars took the lead for good with a 15-6 run and later tacked on seven consecutive points as they took a 35-24 lead into intermission.

SHU opened the second half with seven straight points, culminating with a 3-ball by Grace Howrigon. Another Siena three -- this time from Morgan Warfield -- helped the Saints close their deficit to 39-37, but from there, USF ratcheted up the defensive pressure and went on a 25-8 run.

During their decisive outburst, the Cougars totaled five steals while SHU committed seven turnovers. Siena Heights totaled 21 TOs for the game; Saint Francis had nine.

The visitors twice expanded their lead to 24 points during the second half.

Ninth-ranked Saint Xavier (Ill) defeated the No. 11 team in NAIA Division I, Shawnee State (Ohio), 82-70. Morgan Stuut had 30 points for SXU while Suzi Broski put in 17 points and Caitlin McMahon grabbed 11 rebounds. Alannah Sheets finished with 19 points and six assists for Shawnee.

Stuut, Sheets, Tomasik, SHU's Sierra Calhoun, Taylor and Wilson (MVP) were named to the all-tournament team.

The Saints will return to action on Wednesday with a 6 p.m. home contest against Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference opponent Davenport. The Panthers are currently ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division II.