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(RV) Blue Devils Second Half Struggles lead to 53-51 loss to Aquinas

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - The (RV) Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University women's basketball team fell to Aquinas (Mich.) College 53-51 on Wednesday night in Southfield, Mich.

Lawrence Tech (15-5, 7-3) opened the game with a three-point basket from Danielle Hanson (JR/East Lansing, Mich.) to give the Blue Devils a 3-2 lead. However, Aquinas responded with the next eight points to take a 10-3 lead with 5:36 left in the first quarter. Lawrence Tech chipped away at the lead, making it a one-point game at 12-11 following an 8-0 run of their own. The Blue Devils took the lead to end the quarter with four straight points to take a 15-12 lead into the second quarter.

The Blue Devils continued to build their lead as Kaitlyn Smith (JR/Holly, Mich.) opened the quarter with a three to push the lead to 18-12. Teryn Kline (SO/Fort Wayne, Ind.) followed with a jumper to give LTU an eight-point lead, 20-12, with 7:20 left in the quarter. The Saints did not back down as they battled back to within five, 20-15 as the Blue Devils got a bit sloppy on the court with a turnover and a couple missed shots to give Aquinas a way back into the game.

Lawrence Tech head coach Kylene Biggs took a timeout with less than five minutes left in the first half to settle her team, but the Saints didn't settle hitting a three after securing the offensive rebound, making it 20-17. Hannah Brefeld of Aquinas cut it to one point, 20-19, but a quick 5-0 run from Lawrence Tech quickly made it 25-19 with 3:01 left on the clock. The Saints cut the lead to four at the break, hitting a pair of jumpers to end the half down 27-23.

Aquinas (14-6, 7-3) continued to cut the Blue Devils lead to open the third quarter as the Saints tied the game at 33-33 following a 10-6 run to open the second half. The Saints took the lead at 36-34 following a three from Brefeld, but Kendall Fisher (FR/Indianapolis, Ind.) tied the game at 36-36. A pair of free-throws from Aquinas pushed the Saints to a 38-36 lead.

The Blue Devils and Saints continued to battle as the third quarter continued with the teams trading baskets down the stretch with Fisher hitting a jumper to close the quarter tied at 42-42. Aquinas took the lead at the 5:12 mark of the fourth, going up 48-47 and hit one of two free-throws to take a two-point lead at 49-47 with 4:10 left in the game.

With less than three minutes remaining the Saints started slowing the game down, using the entire shot clock to their advantage. However, the Blue Devils were able to play through their possession to get to the line themselves as Hanson tied the game at 49-49. With 100 seconds left in the game, the Saints retook the lead at 51-49, but Emily Langolf (SO/Macomb, Mich.) hit a layup with 1:12 left on the clock to tie it back up at 51-51.

Lawrence Tech used a timeout after gaining possession on a Langolf rebound with 52.8 second remaining in the game, but came out of the timeout and failed to take the lead as Langolf's shot fell short with 28.2 seconds remaining, giving Aquinas a chance to take the lead on the final possession of regulation. Aquinas made the layup to go up 53-51, but missed the ensuing free-throw to give possession back to LTU with 5.1 seconds remaining following a defensive rebound. An ill-advised inbound pass from Lawrence Tech got tipped out of bounds to end the game with a 53-51 Aquinas win.

The Blue Devils were led by Smith with 10 points while Buckingham had nine points, 12 rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block. Aquinas was led by Brefeld with 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Blue Devils shot 34.5 percent from the field, but turned the ball over 11. The Saints shot 39.3 percent from the field with seven steals and 10 points of 11 turnovers.

The Blue Devils are back in action on Saturday, Jan. 12 when they host Concordia (Mich.) University - Ann Arbor at 1 p.m. inside Don Ridler Field House.