A 3½-minute stretch in the first half Thursday night was costly to the St. Edward girls basketball team.
Bishop McNamara took advantage of numerous Green Wave turnovers to go on a 15-0 run to break open a tie game. The Irish went on to beat St. Edward, 54-43, in nonconference play in Elgin.
"We had a string in the first half where we had way too many turnovers," Green Wave coach Michelle Dawson said. "They capitalized off those turnovers. Other than that I thought we played a pretty solid game."
The game was tied 6-6 with 1:35 remaining in the first quarter until back-to-back baskets from Jenna Stauffenberg gave the Irish (13-8) a 10-6 lead. A Green Wave turnover led to a Hannah Mitchell layup as McNamara took a 12-6 lead heading into the second quarter.
St. Edward (2-22) turned the ball over on its first six possessions of the second. Four of those turnovers led to points. Mitchell's 3-point play with 6:11 remaining in the half capped the 15-0 run as the Irish took a 21-6 lead.
"That's what we do. That's our focus at all times -- pressure defense," McNamara coach Julie Gonski said. "We try to make their guards work hard."
The Irish lead increased to 18, 28-10, with 2:56 remaining in the first half and led 31-16 at halftime. St. Edward committed 19 turnovers in the first half.
Consecutive baskets from Katie Swanson started an 8-0 run for St. Edward midway through the third quarter cut the deficit to 33-24. That would be the closest the Green Wave would get.
"I'm proud of our girls for hanging in there," Dawson said. "They were battling the whole way through."
Swanson led the Green Wave with 19 points in her second game back after returning from a back injury. The junior also grabbed 6 rebounds. Rena Ranallo added 6 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Clarissa Ramos also had 6 points.
Khadaizha Sanders paced the Irish with 14 points. Corinne O'Connor had 13 and Kyleigh Payne added 10.
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