Saints Come Close Against Davenport, 83-81
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The 25th ranked Siena Heights Saints women’s basketball team almost pulled off an upset at home over No. 6 Davenport in a Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference contest. The Panthers were just able to hang on and hold off the Saints, 83-81.
Davenport opened up the scoring first by scoring twice off two turnovers.
The Saints settled down and got momentum on their side as senior April Watson scored a layup with 1:35 left in the first quarter to put the Saints up by one. Watson then forced a turnover to lead to a layup by Ashley Perry.
With time running down in the first quarter, Perry scored a layup right before the buzzer to give the Saints a 28-25 lead after the first quarter.
The game stayed consistently close in the second quarter until Avery Chezem connected on a layup with about a minute left in the half to increase the Saints lead to 45-38.
Before the half came to an end, Davenport hit a three-pointer, and Chezem’s shot to end the half was blocked by a Panther defender to give the Saints a 45-41 halftime lead.
With 8:39 remaining in the third quarter, sophomore Sharmaine Wills connected on a layup and converted the and-one free throw to give the Saints the momentum as the score increased to 51-43.
With about five minutes remaining in the quarter, the Panthers went on a 6-0 run to give them a 58-57 lead.
Davenport connected on a three-pointer with a minute left in the quarter to give them a 66-60 lead, which would wind up being the score after three quarters.
With 7:30 remaining in the game, the Panthers connected on a three pointer which gave them a 74-62 lead.
It looked like the Panthers where going to start pulling away until Perry scored two points, stole the ball, got fouled and split the free throws and then stole the ball back again.
Junior Azalea Miller got the crowd back into it when she crossed over a Davenport defender, which then led to a turnover and layup by Jaaliyah Arrington which cut the lead to 76-71.
With 2:45 remaining, Arrington hit a three which cut the lead to 80-76. Watson then took a charging foul, giving the Saints the ball back.
With 1:35 remaining, Wills got a rebound which lead to a layup by Perry, who converted the and-one free throw to bring the Saints within one point. Watson came up with a big steal and connected on a layup with a minute left to put the Saints up 81-80.
With 40.5 seconds remaining, a charging foul was called on Miller as she was bringing the ball up court, giving the ball back to the Panthers, down 1.
With 7.8 seconds remaining, Davenport scored a layup to put them up 82-81.
After a Saints timeout, Perry drove to the basket, but missed a layup. Wills intentionally fouled Davenport to send them to the free throwline. The Panthers split the free throws to give them an 83-81 lead, which ended up being the final score.
“It’s a really tough loss, but we just got to come back harder next game,” Wills said as she finished the game with a season-high 16 rebounds. “Probably the best game we have played as a whole. We have to play with that same energy and intensity on Saturday against Lourdes, and then again on Wednesday against whoever we play in round one of the conference tournament.”