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Lawrence Tech Falls 80-69 to No. 25 Aquinas in Overtime

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- The Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University women's basketball team fell, 80-69, in overtime to 25th-ranked Aquinas (Mich.) College in their last game of the regular season on Monday, February 18 at the Sturrus Center in Grand Rapids. Senior Guard Nicole Buckingham led the squad with  28 points and eight boards.

Despite facing shooting woes from beyond the arc, Lawrence Tech (21-9, 13-7) finished the game making 44.6 percent from the field. The Blue Devils' bench outscored Aquinas', 12-11. LTU forced the Saints into seven turnovers that led to six points.

Buckingham's performance consisted of going 11-for-22 from the field that included 2-for-7 from deep. In addition, she scored in the double figures for the seventh-straight outing, netting 27 thus far this season. Teryn Kline contributed with 11 points, while Kendall Fisher and Danielle Hanson chipped in with eight apiece. Cherilyn Banas paced the squad with six assists. Fisher, Rachel Price, Kaitlyn Smith, and Hanson dished out three helpers each. Kline led the team with three steals and Price with two blocks.

Aquinas (23-7, 16-4) finished the game shooting 44.3 percent from the field, which included 36.8 percent from three-point land. Hannah Brefeld paced the Saints with 31 points, while Bri Spica led the squad with 11 rebounds. Aquinas won the battle of the boards, outrebounding LTU 44-33.

Buckingham opened the game with a jumper and a three-pointer to give LTU the 5-0 lead. The Blue Devils outscored Aquinas, 13-8, in the first quarter. With an 8-2 run, the Saints claimed the lead and outscored Lawrence Tech, 25-13, in the second quarter. The Blue Devils went into the locker room trailing 33-26.

In the third quarter, Lawrence Tech engineered a 14-8 run to cut the seven-point deficit to one at the 4:19 mark. LTU outscored the Saints, 18-14, in the third quarter, shooting 57.7 percent from the field highlighted by going 6-for-10 from deep. A layup by Fisher tied the game, 49-49, at the 8:43 mark of the second quarter. However, the Blue Devils would reclaim the lead a few minutes later when Kline knocked one down from beyond the arc, setting the score at 65-63. This would not be enough, as the Saints tied the game at the 0:14 mark with two free throws by Hannah Brefeld, sending the teams to overtime.

Aquinas took the lead within seconds of the beginning of the tie-breaker period and did not let go of it for the rest of the effort. The Saints outscored LTU, 15-4, in overtime.

The Blue Devils will be back on the court on Wednesday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m. when they visit the fourth-seeded team of the conference, Siena Heights (Mich.) University (23-7, 15-5), to play the first round of the WHAC Tournament. Lawrence Tech finished the WHAC regular season seeded in fifth place.