INDIANAPOLIS – For the third-straight season, the Marian women’s basketball team will own at least a share of the Crossroads League regular season title after defeating Huntington 66-50 Saturday on John Grimes Court. Marian is now 26-2 overall and 15-1 in the Crossroads League.
Marian’s starting lineup took control immediately and put the Knights ahead by double digits. Dejah Cyrus poured in eight points in the first quarter and Joana Soeiro dished out six assists. While Huntington struggled from the field, Marian flourished, shooting 50 percent. The Knights were able to get inside and scored over half their points in the paint, which led to a 20-11 lead.
The offense continued to thrive in the second quarter and it helped the Knights to a 16 point halftime lead. Cyrus was the first into double figures and Kellie Kirkhoff joined her with a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give her 10 points for the day. Marian’s ball movement was a key to the offensive success as the Knights racked up 11 assists on 15 made field goals. Soeiro finished the half with eight of those assists.
Marian’s foot stayed on the gas in the third quarter as the lead stretched to as much as 24, but Huntington fought back by the end of the period. The Foresters trimmed the lead to nine and their shooting percent rose above 40 percent for the first time during the game. The Knights cooled off from 3-point land, hitting just 2-of-8 from deep and it allowed Huntington to get back in the game.
Defense stepped up in the fourth though, and it was the reason for the win. Huntington turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions midway through the quarter and the Knights pushed the lead back to 15. Huntington got back within 10, but Marian never allowed the Foresters any closer and closed out the game for the conference title.
Cyrus and Kirkhoff led Marian with a combined 37 points as Kirhoff finished with 19 and Cyrus had 18. Soeiro finished with 11 assists and Karen Jones grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Marian shot 44 percent from the field and overcame a 6-of-23 performance from 3-point land. The Knights won the rebounding battle and outscored Huntington in the paint, 42-24. The Knights assisted on 22 of their 28 field goals.
Marian will celebrate Senior Night Wednesday at home against Bethel. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.