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Saints Fall To Lions 72-68 in NAIA Tournament

Saints Fall To Lions 72-68 in NAIA Tournament

SIOUX CITY, IOWA -- The 5th-seed Siena Heights women's basketball team fell to 4th-seed Bryan College 72-68 in the first round of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship in the Tyson Event Center in Sioux City, Iowa on Wednesday night. Peyton Banks (Wadsworth, Ohio) scored 13 of her 19 points in the second half as she led the Saints with a double-double in points and rebounds (11) in the losing effort.

THE BASICS

Final Score: Bryan 72, Siena Heights 68

Location: Sioux City, Iowa (Tyson Events Center)

Records: Bryan (Tenn.) (29-2), Siena Heights (27-6)

HOW IT HAPPENED

Demi Russell (Toledo, Ohio) got things going with a layup in the opening minute for the 2-0 lead. The Lions knotted things up at the 8:05 mark before Banks hit a three to spark 5-0 run that put the Saints on top 7-2. Bryan cut the five-point deficit to two after a three-point jumper put the score at 11-9 in favor of Siena Heights. Kelsey Wyman (Blissfield, Mich.) responded with a jumper behind the arc to push the lead to five, 14-9, with 4:13 left in the first. The Lions used a 10-0 run to finish the first quarter with a 22-15 advantage.
 
Russell hit a free throw in the opening 60 seconds of the second quarter and Allye Minor (Bryan, Ohio) made a jumper at the 6:09 mark of the quarter to put the score at 24-18 in favor of Bryan. Both teams would go into a scoring drought as the only points scored for the next three, plus minutes came off two free throws by the Lions at the 3:49 mark of the second. Minor hit a layup with 2:20 remaining in the half and the Lions responded with back-to-back shots to give the game its first double-digit point margin, 30-20, with 1:46 left before the half. The Saints would outscore Bryan 5-2 in the final minutes of the second to put the score at 32-25 as both teams entered the locker room at half time.
 
The Saints began the third quarter with a 6-0 run that cut the deficit to 32-31 and forced a Lions timeout with 9:11 on the clock in the third stanza. With the score at 38-34, Banks would score and Russell would hit three of four free-throw attempts to give the Saints a 39-38 lead with 5:19 left in the third. The score would tie once more at 40 before Siena pulled ahead by nine, 51-42, as the third quarter ended.
 
The Lions began the final quarter with a 15-5 run that spanned the first four minutes of the quarter to take a 57-56 lead. The teams traded baskets to a 62-61 score in favor of Bryan College with 3:42 remaining in regulation. A 6-0 run by the Lions extended their lead to seven points and forced a Saint timeout with 1:13 remaining on the clock. Banks hit a bucket to cut the deficit to five, 68-63, with just 41 ticks left. The Saints missed some shots down the stretch and were forced to foul late to stop the clock. Votava hit a three-point jumper with a second left, but it wasn't enough to catch the Lions as the clock expired.

TOP SAINTS

• Banks finished 8-15 from the floor for her game-high 19 points.

• Russell shot 5-8 from the floor and 6-9 from the charity stripe for 16 points. She pulled down three boards also.

• Minor completed the game with nine points and six rebounds.

• Tomczak scored eight points, six of which came from the free throws.

• Votava and Wyman each finished with seven points.

Anaya Powell (Grand Rapids, Mich.) led with a game-high eight assists.

THE OPPOSITION

• Tristan McClellan led the Lions with 18 points.

• Shayla Ludy had a game-high 12 rebounds.

SEASON WRAP UP

With the loss, the Saints are eliminated from the NAIA tournament and their season comes to an end a 27-6 overall record. Siena Heights had a 17-3 mark in conference play to finish second in the league standings.