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Lady Lancers start year with defeat

NOTRE DAME, Ind.  – Grace’s women’s basketball team suffered a 61-51 defeat on Friday in the season debut at Holy Cross.

The Lady Lancers (0-1) struggled to find offensive consistency in the contest. As a team Grace shot 33 percent from the floor while committing 21 turnovers.

The Saints (1-0) outscored Grace in every quarter except the last, but Grace was unable to piece together a comeback in the fourth.

Grace, who had three new players in the starting lineup, started the game sluggishly. The Lady Lancers committed a turnover on three straight possessions after the tipoff.

The Lady Lancers fell behind 12-2 after five minutes but rallied to trail by six at the end of the first quarter. Grace made only one field goal and had four turnovers in the opening quarter.

In the second quarter, Grace’s defense struggled to slow down the Saints’ offense. Holy Cross upped its lead to 16.

Rachel Montgomery gave Grace a boost with seven points in a four-minute span late in the period, but the Lady Lancers still found themselves behind 30-21 at halftime.

Grace’s offense still sputtered in the third quarter; Holy Cross outscored Grace 17-11 in the stanza, earning a 15-point edge going into the last quarter.

The Lady Lancers’ best quarter was their last. Grace’s defensive pressure created easier baskets, and the Lady Lancers put together 19 points in the 10 minutes.

Micaela Box almost singlehandedly led a comeback for Grace, ripping off nine points in less than two minutes. She converted an and-1, then buried back-to-back triples to slice the Saints’ lead to 58-51 with 2:45 remaining.

But Grace’s offense went dry down the stretch as Holy Cross held the Lady Lancers without another point.

Box led Grace with 16 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Montgomery produced 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting, and Kyannah Stull tallied seven points and two steals.

Lexi Minix tallied four points and three boards in her Grace debut, Brooke Treadway hauled in six rebounds, and Kaylie Warble had three points and five boards in her first collegiate game.

The Lady Lancers have their home opener on Wednesday, welcoming IU South Bend for a 7 p.m. game at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center.