FOND DU LAC, Wisconsin – Senior Holly Denfeld scored 28 points and became the program's all-time leading scorer in the MSOE women's basketball team's 55-43 victory over Marian Wednesday evening at Sadoff Gym.
The Raiders (12-12, 9-10 NACC) jumped out to a big halftime lead but had to pull away from the Sabres (4-20, 3-16 NACC) with a 25-point fourth quarter.
Denfeld entered the night needing 21 points to catch Catherine Chappell's program record of 1,790 career points. She broke the record with a basket at the 51-second mark of the third quarter. She shot 14-for-18 from the field and tacked on 10 rebounds on the night. She finished the game with 1,797 career points.
Brandi Bender scored 17 points for Marian, with Nicole Paulus chipping in nine points and nine boards.
MSOE scored the first nine points of the game and took a 24-12 lead into halftime in what seemed like an easy game. The defense limited the Sabres to just 5-for-27 shooting in the first 20 minutes and Denfeld had 16 points by the break on 8-of-10 shooting.
In the third quarter, Denfeld got into foul trouble and Marian made its move. The home team scored the first 10 points of the second half as part of a 16-2 run to take a 28-26 lead. Denfeld then countered with back-to-back baskets to make it 30-28 heading into the fourth quarter.
The score was tied at 34-34 with just under eight minutes remaining in the game when sophomore Brooke Scott hit a three-pointer. MU answered with a bucket and Scott knocked down another trey followed by a Denfeld layup to make it 42-36 with 4:11 on the clock.
Marian was able to claw back within three two more times in the closing minutes, including at 44-41 with 2:45 to play. Senior Lizzy Hilby had a steal and layup less than a minute later to start a game-ending 11-2 run. MSOE iced the game by going 9-for-10 at the free throw line during the stretch.
The Raiders shot 37.5 percent in the game but struggled from deep to the tune of 3-for-18. Their late-game free throw shooting led them to finish at 10-for-12 from the charity stripe in the game. The Sabres rebounded from an ice cold first half to salvage a 31.6 percent shooting game. They hit on two of the eight 3-pointers they attempted and got to the free throw line just nine times, making five.
MSOE closes out its season Saturday at Rockford.