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ADRIAN, Mich.- The Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University women's basketball team defeated (RV) Siena Heights (Mich.) University, 68-63, in overtime in the first round of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament on Wednesday, February 20 at the SHU Field House. Kendall Fisher (FR/Indianapolis, Ind.) paced the Blue Devils with a career-high 24 points and contributed with six rebounds.
Lawrence Tech (22-9, 13-7) finished shooting 33.3 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from deep. The Blue Devils scored 14 second-chance points off 14 offensive rebounds and forced the Saints into 19 turnovers that led to 11 points.
Fisher went 7-for-19 from the field, including 4-for-11 from three-point land. Fisher and Cherilyn Banas (SR/Oxford, Mich.) led the team with four assists apiece. Nicole Buckingham (SR/Saginaw, Mich.) and Teryn Kline (SO/Fort Wayne, Ind.) pitched in with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Buckingham led the team with three steals and contributed with six boards. Rachel Price (JR/Springboro, Ohio) paced the squad with eight rebounds and two blocks.
Siena Heights (23-8, 15-5) shot 41.7 percent from the field, struggling from beyond the arc with 18.2 percent. The Saints' bench outscored LTU's 34-6. Alysa Larson led the Saints off the bench with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Demi Russell pitched in with 13 points.
The Blue Devils opened the game with a 6-2 run and maintained a tight lead throughout the first quarter. Despite having shooting woes from the field in the first 10 minutes of play, Lawrence Tech closed the quarter with a 15-13 lead.
Buckingham knocked one down from deep to push the two-point lead to five at the beginning of the second quarter. However, the Saints struck back with an 8-2 run of their own to earn their first lead of the game, setting the score 21-20. A few seconds later, the Blue Devils reclaimed the lead with a jumper by Danielle Hanson (JR/East Lansing, Mich.). Fisher closed the first half with two from beyond the arc to give LTU a six-point advantage, 31-25.
In the third quarter, Lawrence Tech engineered a 5-2 run to achieve a nine-point lead, its largest of the game, for the first time. Following two good free throws by the Saints, Banas made a layup to give LTU a nine-point advantage for the second time. Kaitlyn Smith (JR/Holly, Mich.) was in charge of reclaiming the largest lead for the third time by making one from deep, in response to a three-pointer by Siena Heights. The Saints built a comeback to tie the game halfway through the fourth quarter and take the lead a few minutes later. The Blue Devils reclaimed the advantage at the 1:40 mark with a three by Kline. The Saints tied the game with a jumper seven seconds before the end of the second half, forcing overtime.
The Blue Devils opened the extra period with an 8-2 run to put the game away. Lawrence Tech shot 83.3 percent from the field in overtime and outscored the Saints, 14-9.
Lawrence Tech will be back on the court on Saturday, February 23 to face off with No. 3 Indiana Tech in the Semifinals of the WHAC Tournament. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. in Fort Wayne, Ind.