November 10th, 2017

BU women open season with win over Saginaw

Adam Pruiett

Bellarmine University Assistant S.I.D

BU women open season with win over Saginaw
Raven Merriweather had 23 points and 13 rebounds in Bellarmine's season-opening victory / photo provided by Bellarmine

Senior guard Raven Merriweather posted a double-double, and the Bellarmine University women's basketball team thoroughly dominated the third quarter to turn the tables on Saginaw Valley State in a 66-53 season-opening victory Friday at Knights Hall.

Merriweather piled up game highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds for Bellarmine (1-0) in the Knights' opening game in the GLVC/GLIAC Challenge. In her Bellarmine debut, sophomore forward Allison Van Dyke pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked four shots. Junior center Liza Tibbs chipped in nine points, and sophomore guard Katie Downey added eight and four assists.

Saginaw Valley State (0-1) controlled the first half, draining six 3-pointers in taking a 37-26 lead at halftime. However, the game completely changed in the third period. The Cardinals didn't score until 2:01 left in the frame, and Rozhane Wells' basket proved to be Saginaw Valley State's only one of the quarter.

Bellarmine chipped away at the Cardinals' lead during their drought. Merriweather nailed a 3-pointer and followed with a layup to give the Knights a 38-37 lead, their first since early in the first quarter. Tibbs then capped a 14-0 run with a bucket.

Saginaw Valley State ended its dry spell on Wells' lay-in, but Bellarmine ended the quarter on a 7-0 run to lead 47-39. Merriweather concluded the flurry with a 3-pointer. She scored 12 points in the third period on 5-for-7 shooting, knocking down both her shots from deep. The Knights outscored the Cardinals 21-2 in the frame.

Merriweather opened the fourth quarter with her third 3-pointer and followed Tibbs' layup with one of her own for a 17-point lead with 6:24 left. Saginaw Valley State never got closer than 12 thereafter.

Led by Merriweather and Van Dyke, Bellarmine owned a 47-32 rebounding advantage. The Knights ripped down 17 offensive rebounds, leading to a 20-4 superiority in second-chance points. Bellarmine held a 36-22 advantage in points in the paint.

Abby Duffy led Saginaw Valley State with 10 points.

Bellarmine will host Northwood at 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday.


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