The ACC women's basketball fought hard against Macomb on Wednesday but came up short in a 55-44 loss that saw the Lumberjacks stand strong defensively against the undefeated Monarchs.
In light of those circumstances, ACC coach Bobby Allen felt pretty good about his team's play.
"I'm pretty happy with the girls, they really came out hard and did dang good against an undefeated team," he said.
The first half started strong for the Lumberjacks (4-12, 0-7 MCCAA Eastern) with a field goal by Amy Nowak 30 seconds into the game. Macomb's Rashuan Hankins answered back 30 seconds later with a three to take the lead away from the Lumberjacks.
It was a lead the Monarchs kept all night.
A pair of Breanna Kidd field goals brought the Monarchs to a 7-2 lead but Whitney Frazier helped keep it to a three-point spread with a field goal of her own.
Strong offensive play and another Hankins triple brought the Monarchs to a 14-4 lead.
At this point, ACC started playing strong defense and kept the Monarchs scoreless for almost five minutes. The Lumberjacks crept closer to the Monarchs off a Emily Nowak and Katherine Wollan-led attack that also included a free throw by Lauren Seibert to narrow the score to 16-13 with 10 minutes left in the half.
Macomb's offense answered back with a pair of field goals by Kidd and another three pointer by Hankins pushed it to a commanding 24-13 lead.
ACC struggled to maintain a successful offense during this stretch as Macomb hit the Lumberjacks hard defensively. Frazier hit two free throws while Sherri Smith hit three free throws and a trey with 40 seconds to go to help Alpena narrow the lead, but Macomb stayed out of reach with a 33-21 lead.
The second half saw the Lumberjacks continue to play strong defense against a struggling Monarchs offense. The Monarchs continued to bring the ball down the court regularly but often missed easy shots while ACC got the rebounds.
The Monarchs started the half with two field goals from Sarah Chehab that were answered back by Sarah Cummings and Siebert. ACC then got triples from Allison Burley and Karena Hipkins.
Hankins hit another three during this period, which saw the Monarchs creep to a 44-31 lead.
The Lumberjacks continued to hit the Monarchs with strong defense, but Macomb continued to be aggressive offensively, despite missing a number of shots. Unfortunately for ACC, it missed a lot of shots as well.
Two free throws by Burley with five and a half minutes left brought the score to a 46-37 spread. The Monarchs struggled with free throws during this game, hitting only four out of 17 in the game, while ACC was very accurate by comparison, hitting 12 of 14.
The Monarchs kept pushing the ball and scoring enough to stay ahead. Amy Nowak hit two of two free throws as did Frazier in the last three minutes of the game while Smith hit a trademark three to help fight to a 52-44 spread, but ACC couldn't pull any closer.
"All the girls were really into the game tonight, even the girls on the bench and everybody played really well. Defensively they were spot on. I don't even know where that man to man came from," Allen said.
The Lumberjacks play Saturday at Wayne.
Macomb (55): R. Hankins 5-1-3-15: J. Bieniwicz 0-0-1-0: B. Grant 2-1-2-5: B. Kidd 8-1-4-17: S. Chehab 4-0-2-9: V. Edwards 2-0-0-4: J. Lindsay 2-1-4-5.
Alpena (44): A. Burley 1-2-2-5: S. Cummings 1-0-0-2: W. Frazier 1-4-4-6: L. Seibert 2-1-3-5: K. Hipkins 1-0-0-3: K. Wollan 3-0-0-6: S. Smith 2-3-3-9: A. Nowak 1-2-2-4: E. Nowak 2-0-0-4.