Kikendall Lights Up, PNW Women’s Basketball Falls to Lewis, 71-57

Romeoville, Ill. – Junior guard Michaela Kikendall (Morristown, Ind./Morristown) led all scorers with a season-high 22 points, but the Purdue Northwest women’s basketball team was outscored 47-23 in the second half in a 71-57 road loss to Lewis University (Ill.) Wednesday afternoon at Neil Carey Arena in Romeoville, Ill.  Kikendall knocked down six three-pointers and shot an impressive 53 percent (8-for-15) from the field to fuel her standout performance. 


Senior Ellie Michalski (Mukwonago, Wis./Mukwonago) also had a nice game for PNW finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds.  Senior forward Jessica Kiser (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) chipped in four points to go along with team-bests of 10 rebounds and six assists.      


The Pride started the game in impressive fashion with a three-pointer by sophomore guard Shae Rhonehouse (Fremont, Ind./Fremont) at the six-minute mark of the first quarter giving the visitors an early 5-3 lead.  Back-to-back treys by Kikendall from the top of the key later in the period helped PNW stay in front for most of the quarter.  Another three by Kikendall, her fourth of the frame, with just seconds to play in the quarter gave Purdue Northwest its largest lead of the quarter at 21-10.      


The Pride kept the pressure on early in the second quarter with solid defense and a three-pointer by junior Kaylee Hardy (Saranac, Mich./Saranac) extending the lead to 12, 26-14.  A put-back by Michalski forced a Lewis timeout at the 7:46 mark of the second quarter with the Pride holding a 29-14 advantage.  A free throw by freshman Danielle Nennig (Wrightstown, Wis./Wrightstown) with 7:22 left in the half gave PNW its largest lead of the game, 30-14.  However, the Flyers scored 10 unanswered points over the next five minutes to trim the big lead down to six, 30-24.  A jumper by Nennig in the final seconds of the half gave the Pride a 34-26 halftime edge.


Lewis came out very strong to open the second half using a 21-0 run to take a 47-34 lead over the first four minutes of the third quarter.  A three-pointer by Kikendall with 5:45 remaining in the frame ended the scoring drought for the Pride and made it a 10-point game, 47-37.  Kikendall continued to pour it on scoring PNW’s next five points to bring her team within five, 47-42, with 3:16 left in the third.  A short jumper by Kiser in the final minute had the Pride within seven, 53-46, heading into the fourth quarter.  Michalski was tough down the stretch making key lay-ups to help keep the Pride within striking distance, but the Flyers hit key baskets in the final three minutes of regulation to pull away for good.        


Purdue Northwest (0-3 overall) hosts its home opener on Saturday, November 25, taking on University of Illinois-Springfield (UIS).  The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. CT tip-off at the Fitness & Recreation Center in Hammond, Ind.