Calhoun's School-Record 41 Leads #20 Women's Hoops into WHAC Final; NAIA Auto Bid Clinched

Calhoun's School-Record 41 Leads #20 Women's Hoops into WHAC Final; NAIA Auto Bid Clinched

ADRIAN, Mich. -- Sierra Calhoun scored a school-record 41 points as the 20th-ranked Siena Heights women's basketball team claimed a 95-87 overtime victory over Madonna during Saturday's Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal action at the SHU Fieldhouse. With the victory, the Saints clinched their third consecutive berth to the NAIA Division II Tournament.

Calhoun also had 11 rebounds to aid her way to a double-double. She also made six assists for the two-seed Saints (26-6), who clawed back from a double-digit deficit for the second straight game.

Mackenzie Tomasik added 12 points and seven rebounds, Jessie Arnold contributed 12 points and six rebounds, and Alexxis Knannlein finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Also, Najee Brazzle compiled 10 points, five rebounds and five assists. She converted a go-ahead three-pointer at the beginning of extra time and SHU held the lead the rest of the way.

After opening the game with a seven-point run, Siena Heights allowed the visiting Crusaders (19-11) to score nine straight -- the beginning of a stretch in which MU outscored the Saints, 29-9, and seized a 29-16 lead.

Siena Heights closed its deficit to 43-35 at halftime and after forging several ties in the second half, finally went ahead on a Calhoun three-pointer, which gave the Saints a 65-64 advantage.

SHU eventually pushed its lead to 69-64, but could not hold.

With the score tied at 75-75, the Saints had a chance to win on the final possession of regulation, but failed to do so.

Instead, Brazzle gave the hosts a 78-75 lead in OT with her trey; the Saints went on to build a 95-85 lead in the period -- their largest gap of the night -- and ultimately held off third-seed Madonna.

Along with claiming the program's single-game record for points, Calhoun also assumed the single-season record of 570. She broke a game record which stood for 27 years -- a 39-point effort by Jackie Barnes against Michigan-Dearborn on Feb. 2, 1988 -- and a 19-year-old season record held by Sheila Landerschier (549 in 1995-96).

Calhoun also moved within 26 points of second place on the all-time career list; Landerschier had 1,693 while Calhoun has 1,667.

Michele Hayes and Rachel Melcher scored 28 points apiece for Madonna. Melcher also had 10 rebounds while Lindsey Hernden contributed 10 points and Justice Dean hauled down 10 rebounds.

Siena Heights will meet top-seed Davenport (30-0), which defeated four-seed Cornerstone, 76-57, in the semifinals. The WHAC Tournament final will take place at DU on Monday at 7:30 p.m.