By Patrick Moore, Madonna (Mich.) Director of Sports Information
LIVONIA, Mich. - Using a tenacious defense, especially in the second half, the Madonna University women's basketball team pulled off an upset win over No. 8-ranked Concordia on Saturday (Jan. 19) by a final of 56-50 at the Activities Center.
Senior forward Kaylee McGrath led MU with 13 points while senior guard Shantelle Herring posted a double-double of 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Fellow senior guard Michelle Lindsey matched Herring with 10 points.
After falling behind by seven, 15-8, over the first five and a half minutes of the game, MU went on a 15-6 run over the ensuing 6:28 of the game to pull in front 23-21. Senior guard Heather Pratt (Flushing, Mich. / Flushing) and McGrath each hit 3-pointers during the run that gave MU its first lead of the game.
The MU lead grew to as many as five on a pair of occasions, the final coming following a McGrath layup with 40 seconds left that gave MU a 36-31 lead at halftime.
The first half saw both sides shoot well with MU connecting at a 51.7 (15-for-29) rate with CUAA coming in at 44.8 (13-for-29) percent.
Lindsey connected on a jumper 1:03 into the half that gave MU a 38-31 lead but then the Crusaders went ice cold from the floor, missing their next 11 shots and going scoreless for the next 8:40 of the game as the Cardinals took a 43-38 lead.
A McGrath layup stopped the bleeding and began a 7-3 MU run that put the Crusaders back on top for good, 44-43, after sophomore guard Rachel Melcher (Sterling Heights, Mich. / Marian Catholic) hit a pair of free throws with 8:46 to go.
The MU lead grew to as many as eight, 53-45, after a 3-pointer from senior guard Kristie Porada, a Herring layup and another Melcher free throw with 1:16 left.
Concordia cut the lead to four, 53-49, but did not get any closer as MU hung on for the 56-50 victory.
MU held CUAA to a 19.4 (6-for-31) shooting percentage in the second half and was able to overcome a 23 percent (6-for-26) shooting half of its own in the final 20 minutes to hand CUAA its first Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference loss of the season. The win also stopped MU's four-game losing streak to Cardinals dating back to the 2010-11 season.
Abbey Hengesbach led CUAA with 16 points while Hannah Sabol had a double-double with 15 points and 21 rebounds.