Russell Leads Saints to Double-Digit Win Over Ranked Blue Devils

Photo Courtesy of Mike Dickie
Photo Courtesy of Mike Dickie

ADRIAN, Mich. -- Senior Demi Russell (Toledo, Ohio) scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to propel the 19th-ranked Saints past the No. 25 Blue Devils 87-76. The win gives Siena Heights the first-ever 9-0 start in Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) play.

THE BASICS

Final Score: Siena Heights 87, Lawrence Tech 76

Location: Adrian, Michigan (SHU Fieldhouse)

Records: Siena Heights (17-1, 9-0 WHAC), Lawrence Tech (12-7, 6-3 WHAC)

HOW IT HAPPENED

Siena Heights started hot, making the first five shots to jump out to an 11-3 lead in the opening three minutes of play. The Blue Devils used a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to 15-12 with 3:40 remaining in the first quarter. A three-point jumper by Allye Minor (Bryan, Ohio) sparked a 6-0 run that extended the Saint lead to 21-12 with just over three minutes left in the quarter. A jumper and a layup by Lawrence Tech cut the SHU lead to 21-16.

Kaitlyn Smith hit a three-point shot to start a 5-0 run for Lawrence Tech the put the score at 24-23 with 7:48 left before halftime. Another jumper 1:10 later gave LTU a 27-26 lead, but two free throws by Kiana Votava (Port Huron, Mich.) reclaimed the lead for the Saints. The lead would change hands throughout the remainder of the first half and the teams would enter the locker room with a 38-38 tie at the intermission.

Kendall Fisher made a bucket from beyond the arc to give LTU the lead at the start of the third quarter. Anaya Powell (Grand Rapids, Mich.) hit a three-point shot to ignite a 5-0 run for the Saints and tie the score at 46 with 7:09 left on the clock. Lawrence Tech used a 6-0 run to build a 55-50 lead with just over two minutes until the end of the third.

The Blue Devils held a 61-58 advantage as the final quarter began. Russell tied things up with a layup and one. Addyson Tomczak (Bay City, Mich.) also recorded a layup and one to put Siena on top 64-63 and start a 7-0 run that saw the Saints lead 68-63 with 7:47 left in regulation. The rest of the contest became the Demi Russel show as she dropped 12 of her 17 fourth-quarter points 6:07 of the game.

TOP SAINTS

• Russell shot 10-17 from the floor and 10-14 from the charity stripe to record the second 30-point game of her career. She hauled in 15 rebounds to complete her third straight double-double of the season.

• Votava tallied 15 points on 4-8 shooting from the floor and a perfect 6-6 from the free-throw line.

Peyton Banks (Wadsworth, Ohio) registered 13 points and eight rebounds in the winning effort.

Kelsey Wyman (Blissfield, Mich.) led the Saints with three assists while also netting 11 points.

THE OPPOSITION

• Fisher led the Blue Devils in four categories: points (20), rebounds (7), assists (5), and steals (2).

• Teryn Kline finished with 19 points while Danielle Hanson and Smith each scored 14.

UP NEXT

The Saints hit the road next Wednesday, January 15 to face Rochester in a WHAC game. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., EST.