It was an offensive struggle on Thursday night at the St. James Event Center, losing to Madelia, 39-32.

The Saints never led on the evening, falling behind 5-2 on a three by Sylvia Rodriguez early in the first half. Renata Hernandez answered with a pull-up jumper to make it 5-4, but the Saints would go ice cold from the floor, going without a field goal for nine minutes. St. James was able to keep it moderately close, thanks to solid free throw shooting, and strong defense.

Chloe Mickelson took the lid off the basket with a three, to cut the Blackhawks’ lead to five. Hernandez, Kelsey Grunewald, and Torri Mohwinkel each hit a free throw, and Grunewald added a basket at the end of the half, and the Saints were down just two heading into halftime, thanks to an 8-2 run in the final 2:15.

St. James once again couldn’t get the offense going to start the second half, not scoring until 12:06 left in regulation on an Addie Bowers layup. Bowers would add a midrange jumper shortly after, cutting the Madelia lead to 29-24. Four free throws by CaleyAnn Clobes pushed the lead back up to nine. A steal and subsequent layup by Hernandez cut the lead to seven, but Clobes once again converted at the line.

The Saints did trim the lead to five on a Mickelson catch and shoot three, but Madelia was able to connect from the free throw line in the final minutes.

St. James only made nine total field goals on the evening, while their turnovers were more than twice that number.

Clobes led the charge for the Blackhawks, scoring all nine of her points from the free throw line. Lillian Maul scored eight, and Rodriguez finished with seven. Mackenzie Peterson, Sylvia DeLaCruz and Taylor Tierney each scored four points.

Mickelson scored nine for St. James. Hernandez and Kaydi Anderson scored five apiece. Bowers finished with four.

With the loss, the Saints fall to 4-12 and now have lost eight of their last nine.

Madelia snaps a five-game losing streak and improves to 3-13.

St. James is back in play on Monday against Mountain Lake Area/Comfrey.