By Benjamin Wideman / Director of Media Relations and Sports Information
UNIONTOWN, Pennsylvania -- Despite a valiant effort all game, the Silver Lake College women's basketball team came up short Wednesday at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association's 2016 Basketball National Championships.
Sophomore forward Danelle Buck, a former Valders High School standout, scored 11 points to lead the Lakers' offensive output, but No. 4 seed SLC lost 83-60 to No. 5 seed University of Maine-Fort Kent in a Division 1 first-round matchup on the campus of Penn State-Fayette.
"Our team really played hard and never gave up, but we didn't have a great shooting game and that hurt us," said Lakers head coach Mike Flentje, whose team shot 31.4 percent (22-of-70) from the field and was outrebounded for one of the few times this season (49-38). "And they had two first-team All-Americans and a second-team All-American that were hard to stop. So when you put it all together, we weren't able to come away with the win."
The Bengals' first-team All-Americans were center Ericka Saucier (27 points, 19 rebounds) and guard Romanalyn Inocencio (13 points, 15 assists). Their second-team All-American, forward Samantha Carapellucci, had a game-high 33 points and 11 rebounds.
For the Lakers (21-6), senior guard Kaela Cheesman of Rolla, Mo., and sophomore guard Danielle Byrum of Sheboygan each scored nine points (all on three-pointers) and combined for seven assists. Junior guard Jordan Barbeau of Iron Mountain, Mich., added two three-pointers for six points. Eleven of SLC's 22 field goals came from three-point range.
"Danielle and Kaela had some big threes, Courtney had a lot of energy, Amanda (Kudick) was all over the court and Danelle had some nice baskets," Flentje said. "We had several others make nice plays throughout the game too. We just couldn't put it all together."
Lakers senior forward/center Raelyn Woock of Burnett, a second-team All-American, scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds. Junior guard Amanda Kudick of Kewaunee, an honorable mention All-American, had a team-high nine rebounds, five points and three steals.
Also contributing for the Lakers were senior forward Courtney Clavers (five points, five rebounds), freshman guard Ashley Rumlow of Oshkosh (three points), freshman forward Hailee Kotche of Manitowoc (three points), junior guard Abby Gerhard of Iron Mountain, Mich. (two points, two steals), and senior guard/forward Marissa Senglaub of Manitowoc (one rebound).
SLC took a 15-12 lead on Buck's layup with 3:42 remaining in the first quarter. But Maine-Fort Kent (20-5) - which played its starting five the entire first half - quickly surged ahead and didn't look back, going on a 13-3 run to take a 46-28 halftime lead.
The Lakers played tough throughout the second half but could only get as close as 14 points (50-36) on Barbeau's three-pointer with 6:07 left in the third quarter.
Overall, the Lakers' bench outscored the Bengals' bench 28-0.
SLC moves to the consolation bracket, where it plays The Apprentice School (Newport News, Virginia) at 8:15 a.m. (Central time) on Thursday, March 3.