Freshman guard Christine Denny came off the bench to score a team-high 17 points, but the No. 21-ranked Carroll College women's basketball team fell to Saint Xavier 55-52 on Wednesday in Honolulu in the Hoop ‘N Surf Classic.

Carroll trailed 34-20 at halftime and found a way to take a lead against Saint Xavier (11-1), which is ranked the No. 1 team in DII of the NAIA.

“We had a great run at them in the second half, down 14 at half and took the lead with less than two minutes to go,” Saints coach Rachelle Sayers said. “Thought the kids dug deep and made us have a chance to win.”

Denny came off the bench to play 19 minutes and score 17 points on a perfect afternoon shooting, 7-for-7 from the field and a 3-for-3 from the free-throw line.

“Denny had a great weekend,” Sayers said. “She was big-time today.”

Bailey Pasta was the only other Saints’ player to reach double figures, scoring 10 points.

Hannah Dean had a game-high 10 rebounds and scored five points, but left the game late with a broken nose.

“I think we, if don’t lose Hannah to a broken nose at the end of the game, we probably pull it out,” Sayers said. “But Saint Xavier is a great team. Returning National Player of the Year, No. 1 ranked team in the country and we had our chances. Just have to put two solid halves together if we are going to beat good teams.”

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Carroll shot 38 percent from the field and 31 percent from the three-point line.

Carroll held Saint Xavier to 21 points in the second half, outscoring them 32-21.

“We definitely got better this weekend and we will learn and grow from this amazing experience,” Sayers said.

The Saints went 1-1 at the Hoop ‘N Surf Classic, defeating Menlo on Tuesday before falling to Saint Xavier. The Hawaii-based tournament was the Saints’ final action until after Christmas when Carroll hosts a pair of Canadian schools.


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