Site: Livonia, Mich. (Activities Center)
Score: Madonna 80, Siena Heights 68
Records: MU (10-6, 6-3 WHAC), SHU (9-7, 6-4 WHAC)
Next MU event: Wednesday, Jan. 9 – at UM-Dearborn (Dearborn, Mich.) – 5:30 p.m.
LIVONIA, Mich. – Senior forward Kaylee McGrath scored 18 of her career-high tying 27 points in the second half as the Madonna University women's basketball team broke a 35-all tie at halftime and trailed for just 16 seconds in the second half of an 80-69 win over Siena Heights on Saturday (Jan. 5) in a Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference match up at the Activities Center.
McGrath (Livonia, Mich. / Stevenson) posted her second straight double-double with a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with her 27 points. Senior guard Shantelle Herring (Macomb, Mich. / Dakota) added 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and three steals while sophomore guard Rachel Melcher (Sterling Heights, Mich. / Marian Catholic) added 12 points and five rebounds off of the bench in the MU (10-6, 6-3 WHAC) win.
After McGrath scored the game's first basket and gave the Crusaders their only lead of the first half at 2-0, the Saints pulled ahead by five, 12-7, to claim their largest lead of the half with 14:22 left.
The first 20 minute of play saw seven ties as MU shot 46.9 percent (15-for-32) compared to SHU's 46.2 percent (12-for-26). The final stalemate of the half came at 35-all after Melcher took a McGrath outlet pass and drove to the basket, getting a layup to fall just before the buzzer, sending the two sides to the locker room deadlocked.
Senior guard Heather Pratt (Flushing, Mich. / Flushing) opened the scoring for MU in the second half, knocking down one of her two triples on the day to give MU its first lead since it was 2-0, 38-35. The Crusaders pushed their lead out to seven, 49-42, over the first 5:06 of the half with McGrath scoring seven points and Pratt hitting her second 3-pointer to give MU the seven-point cushion with 14:54 left in the game.
SHU (9-7, 6-4 WHAC) scored the next eight points of the game – with all eight coming in a 38 second span – to take its only lead of the second half, 50-49, with 12:43 left.
The SHU lead was short lived, however, as McGrath scored a layup that began a 20-4 Madonna run that took the Crusaders from down one to up 15, 69-54. McGrath led the way during the run with 10 points while Herring added six markers to give MU the lead for good.
The Crusaders went up by as many as 17 points, 75-58, and did not let the Saints get any closer than 12 the rest of the way in the 80-68 victory.
As well as both teams shot in the first half, it was a polar opposite for SHU as the Saints connected at just a 29.6 percent rate (8-for-27) from the floor while MU caught fire, connecting on 57 percent of its shots (12-for-21) in the final 20 minutes.
Chandler Levit led SHU with 15 points to go along with 12 points each from Amanda Duke and Morgan Warfield. Sierra Calhoun rounded out the four Saints in double figures with 10 points.
Madonna heads on the road for its shortest road trip of the season on Wednesday (Jan. 9), traveling to UM-Dearborn for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff against the Wolves. The game is the front half of a women's and men's double header against UMD.
Contact: Patrick Moore (734) 432-5834
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