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18th-Ranked Saints Slip Past Rochester In Final WHAC Game of Regular Season

Photo by Mike Dickie
Photo by Mike Dickie

ADRIAN, Mich. -- The No. 18 Saints made timely free throws in the fourth quarter to preserve the lead in a 63-58 win over Rochester on Wednesday night. Anaya Powell (Grand Rapids, Mich.) scored a season-high 14 points to lead the Saints to the win.

THE BASICS

Final Score: Siena Heights 63, Rochester 58

Location: Adrian, Michigan (SHU Fieldhouse)

Records: Siena Heights (25-4, 17-3 WHAC), Rochester (11-18, 9-10 WHAC)

HOW IT HAPPENED

Siena Heights jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in the opening three minutes of the first quarter. Addyson Tomczak (Bay City, Mich.) got things rolling with a three-point jumper with just 19 ticks off the clock. Demi Russell (Toledo, Mich.) then hit a jumper for a 5-0 lead and Kiana Votava (Port Huron, Mich.) drilled a three-point jumper for the eighth point of the game. Peyton Banks (Wadsworth, Ohio) sparked a 6-0 run with a layup that increased the lead to double digits, 14-4, with 3:21 left in the first. The Warriors cut the deficit to eight, 16-8, at the end of the quarter. 

Powell made a three-point jumper in response to a Rochester layup to spark a 5-0 run that increased the lead back to double digits, 21-10, to start the second quarter. The Saints maintained the lead throughout the remainder of the second quarter, holding a 33-21 lead as the teams entered the locker room at the half.

A three-point jumper by Powell started the scoring for the second half to push the Saint lead to 15 points. A layup by Tomczak ignited a 7-0 run that gave Siena its largest lead of the game, 49-32, with 2:41 left in the third stanza. Tomczak hit a free throw to put the score at 51-37 with 1:04 on the clock. The score remained the same as the fourth quarter began.

A 5-0 run by the Warriors that began at the 8:34 mark of the fourth quarter cut the SHU lead to nine points, 53-44. Tomczak hit a three to put the Saints up by 12 with 6:31 left to play. Following a Rochester layup, Banks hit what turned out to be the final field goal for Siena Heights in the game with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter to put the score at 58-46 in favor of the Saints. Two free throws by the Warriors sparked a 9-0 run that lasted 2:13 and cut the SHU lead to three points, 58-55, with just under three minutes left to play in regulation. Tomczak was fouled at the 2:33 mark and hit both of her shots to increase the lead to five points. Tomczak went to the line again with 35 ticks left and made one of two free throws to extend the lead to 61-55 and Votava hauled in the offensive rebound on the miss to force the Warriors to foul Kelsey Wyman (Blissfield, Mich.) to stop the clock. Wyman hit both of her free throws to put the Saints up by eight. Rochester would score the game's final three points, but the clock would expire before the comeback was complete.

TOP SAINTS

• Powell shot 5-10 from the floor, 3-5 from three, and 1-2 from the free-throw line. She was two assists short of completing the double-double.

• Banks scored 13 points while hauling in nine rebounds and two steals.

• Russell scored 10 points and completed a double-double, her sixth of the season, with 10 rebounds.

THE OPPOSITION

• Devan Valko and Lexey Tobel led the Warriors with 18 points.

• Delaney Bolles finished with nine rebounds.

WHAC STANDINGS

The Saints are locked into the number two spot in the conference standings and will host the seventh-seeded team in the first round on Thursday, February 27, 2020. Tournament matchups will be announced this Saturday (Feb. 22) night once the regular season officially wraps up.

UP NEXT

The Saints will host Wright State-Lake this Saturday, February 22 at 3:00 p.m., EST, in the final game of the regular season. The game will be Senior Day for both Siena Heights basketball programs.