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Strong Second Half Keys Villa Duchesne to Win over St. Charles

The Saints, who were held to 10 first half points and none in the second quarter, rebounded for a 36-27 victory at home Monday night.

Villa Duchesne senior guard Kaitleya Frost felt it was just a matter of time before her team's shots started to fall Monday night in a non-conference game against St. Charles.

It would take a mighty long time as the Saints were held without a point in the second quarter and had another dry spell over almost five minutes in the third quarter. But the shots did fall when they counted the most as the Saints won their fourth game in a row and sixth of their last seven with a 36-27 victory. The loss snapped a four-game Pirate winning streak.

"It was certainly a defensive game," Frost said. "When your shots are not falling you just have to focus your attention on defense and try to get stops. We finally were able to make some shots late in the third quarter and early in the fourth."

The Saints actually got off to a fast start scoring three field goals in the first two minutes, two of them by Mary Kate Kabbes, to take a 6-0 lead. But that was not a sign of things to come as Villa Duchesne scored just four points in the final 14 minutes of the first half and trailed 14-10 at halftime.

"I told the girls at halftime but the good news was that despite not scoring any points in the second quarter that we were only four points behind," Villa Duchesne coach Jane Ellen Kuenzle said. "You have to give a lot of credit to the way St. Charles played defensively. They were very physical and knocked us off the ball.

"The good thing about this team is that we always play hard on the defensive end. And we did a better job of limiting their second shots in the second half and finally started to make some shots ourselves. It is a very good win when you can grind out a game like we did tonight."

Frost scored off the opening inbounds play to start the second half to pull the Saints within two points at 14-12. But they would not score again until Lauren Nickson hit a pair of free throws, the first attempted in the game by the Saints, with 3:26 to go in the third quarter.

St. Charles would lead by as many as seven points at 21-14 but Villa scored the final six points of the third quarter and then started the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run on a 3-pointer by Alex Roth and field goals by Frost and Nickson.

The Pirates would cut the lead to 29-25 on a field goal by Lauren Willis with 2:26 left. But the Saints iced the game with seven free throws in the final quarter.

"We looked like a JV team out there tonight," St. Charles coach Ben Owens said. "It looked like we have never played against a press before. Jane Ellen does a great job with these girls and we missed a lot of lay-ups and free throws. You can't do that against a good team like this and expect to win."

Katie Bradley had seven points and Olivia Hollander and Emily White added six each for the Pirates, who fell to 9-4 overall.

Frost had 15 and Nickson 13 to pace the Saints, who improved to 8-4.

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