ADRIAN, Mich. -- The 17th-ranked Siena Heights women's basketball team were eliminated from the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) tournament in the semifinal round with a 71-61 loss to Lawrence Tech on Saturday night. Demi Russell (Toledo, Ohio) led the Saints with 24 points and nine rebounds in the losing effort.
Final Score: Lawrence Tech 71, Siena Heights 61
Location: Adrian, Michigan (SHU Fieldhouse)
Records: Lawrence Tech (21-11), Siena Heights (27-5)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Saints jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter with a 6-0 run. The Blue Devils hit a jumper and Addyson Tomczak (Bay City, Mich.) hit two free throws to put things at 8-2 with 5:56 left in the opening quarter. A three-point jumper from LTU sparked a 19-6 run that would span the remainder of the quarter and put Lawrence Tech ahead of Siena 21-14.
The Blue Devils extended the lead with a 5-0 run to begin the second quarter, but a 10-0 run by Siena cut the deficit to 26-24 with 2:56 left in the first half. Down 30-26, Russell hit a layup and Kelsey Wyman (Blissfield, Mich.) scored a layup off a steal from Anaya Powell (Grand Rapids, Mich.) in the closing seconds to tie things up at 30 as the game went into the half.
Siena Heights tallied the first four points of the third to take a small lead before a 10-2 LTU run ate up 4:11 of the clock and regave the lead to the Blue Devils, 40-36. A layup and one by Russell put the Saints one point away from tying. LTU extended the lead to 43-39 before the teams traded buckets to a 45-43 Blue Devil advantage ended the third.
The fourth quarter was dominated by Kendall Fisher who scored the first 11 points for Lawrence Tech to build a 56-48 lead with 6:33 left on the clock. Fisher continued to make big shots down the stretch as she scored 21 of her 29 points in the final quarter of play to will the Blue Devils to the finals of the WHAC tournament.
• Russell was 11-14 from the floor and 2-4 from the free-throw line to lead the Saints in scoring.
• Peyton Banks (Wadsworth, Ohio) hauled in eight rebounds and five assists.
• Fisher scored 29 points and also had seven rebounds.
• Danielle Hanson scored 16 points.
THE WAITING GAME
The Saints must now wait for Wednesday, March 4 when the final rankings for NAIA Division II women's basketball are released and the NAIA National tournament matchups are announced to see if their season will continue. Fans that want to tune into the selection show can do so live on the Play NAIA Facebook page at 7 p.m. EST.