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Madeline Prestegaard, SAU women's basketball

Madeline Prestegaard

DAVENPORT — Three games into the season, a young St. Ambrose women’s basketball team has figured out at least one thing.

“We need each other. Our strength is going to be being there for each other,’’ Fighting Bees sophomore center Madeline Prestegaard said.

That approach led St. Ambrose to a 73-53 win Wednesday over Trinity Christian at Lee Lohman Arena in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

By the time the Fighting Bees took a 29-17 lead into the locker room at the half, nine of the 10 players who had seen action had scored and the 10th was leading the team in assists.

“We’re getting good contributions from everybody and that is something that is working for us,’’ St. Ambrose coach Krista Van Hauen said. “We had a lot of people step up and hit shots and it made a difference.’’’

Six Bees finished with between eight and 13 points, an effort Prestegaard led with a 13-point performance.

Jaynee Prestegaard, a freshman forward joined her sister in coming off the bench to finish in double digits, contributing 10 points among the 38 scored by St. Ambrose reserves.

“That’s the kind of depth this team has,’’ Madeline Prestegaard said. “Whether we start or come in off the bench, we can all help.’’

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Van Hauen liked the effort she saw from her 2-1, 1-0 CCAC Bees on the boards, where they extended possessions with 23 offensive rebounds.

Kylie Wroblewski, a freshman from Bettendorf, grabbed 11 rebounds to go with nine points in a game SAU led from start to finish.

The Fighting Bees scored the game’s first 10 points and finished the second quarter on a run of seven unanswered points heading into halftime. 

Maddy Cash scored five of her nine points in the opening quarter, helping the Fighting Bees open an 18-5 lead after the first.

The Trolls (1-4, 0-1) pulled within 22-17 on a 3-pointer by Breanna Toppen with 3 minutes, 13 seconds remaining in the second quarter, but a basket by Abby Lownik followed by a Gabrielle Koelker 3 allowed St. Ambrose to regain a double-digit advantage.

“We did a great job of coming out the way we wanted to in the first quarter, but I felt like we lost a little focus in the second,’’ Van Hauen said. “Some of that is being young and we’ll learn from it. We were up 12 at the half, but it felt like a four-point lead. Fortunately, we were able to get it back in the second half.’’

The Fighting Bees hit 7-of-14 shots in the third quarter, regaining a 50-33 lead after three quarters which grew to 66-41 midway through the final quarter.

“We did some good things, and I feel like we have some things we can learn from this,’’ Van Hauen said. “It wasn’t perfect, but it was a win.’’

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