February 9th, 2018

Bellarmine women roll past McKendree

Adam Pruiett

Bellarmine University Assistant S.I.D

Bellarmine women roll past McKendree
photo provided by Bellarmine athletics

LEBANON, Ill. — Raven Merriweather had a lot to say about a potential McKendree women's basketball comeback.

On Thursday at the Statham Center, the Bellarmine University senior guard scored 12 of her game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter as the Knights turned back the Bearcats 83-72 in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.

Merriweather knocked down nine of her 16 shots and made all six free throws for Bellarmine (14-9, 9-5 GLVC), which has won six of seven. Sophomore guard Mikayla Berry scored all 13 of her points in the first half against McKendree (9-11, 5-8), freshman forward Lauren Deel chipped in 10 points in 13 minutes and junior center Liza Tibbs and sophomore forward Allison Van Dyke added eight points apiece.

"We're doing a good job as a group, but we've got to clean up some things that are easily fixable," Bellarmine Coach Chancellor Dugan said.

Bellarmine started the game strong and pushed a 25-13 lead after one quarter to 18 in the second before McKendree used a late run to trim its deficit to 44-34 at halftime. The Bearcats kept that momentum going in the second half and trailed 71-67 with 4:06 left.

Van Dyke followed by finding Deel for a layup, and sophomore forward Mallory Schwartz created a steal on the press that led to freshman guard Breia Torrens spotting Tibbs for an easy bucket. After a McKendree score, Merriweather delivered the back-breaker, nailing her second 3-pointer of the quarter for a nine-point advantage with 1:40 left.

Merriweather and Schwartz combined to sink 5-of-6 free throws from there. Merriweather went 3 of 4 from the floor and 4 of 4 from the charity stripe in the final quarter.

"She did a nice job," Dugan said of Merriweather. "She's as good as she wants to be."

Bellarmine drilled 10 3-pointers in the contest, with Berry canning three in the first half. Berry, Deel and Van Dyke guided the Knights to a 35-15 advantage in bench points.

Jordan Heberg led McKendree with 19 points and Shauniera Wilson added 16. The Bearcats had a decisive 41-29 rebounding advantage and hauled in 14 offensive boards.

"We've got to be a better rebounding team than that," Dugan said. "They got too many offensive boards on us."

Bellarmine forced McKendree into 20 turnovers, and Berry led the Knights with four steals. Merriweather had three thefts and seven rebounds.

Bellarmine plays at 6:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday at No. 15 Southern Indiana.


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