EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Michigan Tech women's basketball team lost for the first time in 2016-17 on Saturday with a 78-62 setback against No. 9 Bellarmine University at the University of Southern Indiana Thanksgiving Classic. The Knights pulled away with a big second quarter in which they outscored the Huskies 30-19.
"Bellarmine was as good as advertised and we needed to do certain things to give ourselves a chance," Michigan Tech Head Coach Kim Cameron said. "They had a two minute 30 second spurt in the second quarter where they went on a 16-0 run and we couldn't recover. We had a big reality check today. It was eye opening, but it's up to us on how we respond. We have another huge challenge tomorrow and will be tested in a lot of the same ways. We are looking forward to a chance to bounce back."
Michigan Tech (3-1) struck first when senior Morgan Anderson split the Bellarmine (5-0) defense for a layup in the opening seconds of the first quarter. The Knights grabbed a 7-4 edge with just under seven minutes to go in the first period on a triple from Destony Curry, but the Huskies pulled to within one at 7-6 when sophomore Elizabeth Kelliher dropped in a layup with 6:33 on the first quarter clock.
Bellarmine countered by scoring nine of the games next 11 points to go up 16-8 with just under three minutes to play in the first quarter. Kelliher made it to the free throw line for two free throws to close out the scoring in the first and bring Tech to within six points at 16-10 heading into the second quarter.
Raven Merriweather dialed in a triple to start the second quarter for the Knights, increasing the Huskies' deficit to 19-10 with 9:18 to play until the break. However, the Huskies would bounce back with an 8-3 scoring run, climbing back to within four points at 22-18. Freshman Baillie McGirk sparked the run with a pair of field goals while Anderson and Kelliher each chipped in a bucket as well.
Unfortunately, with 6:56 on the second quarter clock, Bellarmine would take control of the game with a 16-0 run. Whitney Hartlace kicked it off with a pair of three-pointers and got some help from teammates Merriweather, Mikayla Berry, and Serena Sandusky to make it a 38-18 game with 4:33 left in the second. Sophomore Michelle LaFave ended the scoring drought for Tech on a layup with 4:22 to go in the half, but the deficit would be too much to overcome.
Anderson led the Huskies with 16 points and nine rebounds against Bellarmine on day one of the USI Thanksgiving Classic. Redshirt junior Kelli Guy followed with 15 points and matched Anderson with a team best three assists. Kelliher also landed in double figures with 14 points after going 6 of 10 from the field and 2 for 2 at the free throw line. She also recorded a pair of blocked shots and two assists.
As a team, Tech was 26 of 64 from the field (40.6%), 6 of 21 from three-point range (28.6%), and 4 of 5 at the free throw line (80.0%). The Huskies were out-rebounded 44-32 and had 16 turnovers which led to 23 points for the Knights. Tech's defense created 13 Knight turnovers and turned those into 16 points.
Sarah Galvin led all scorers by pouring in 21 points for the Knights on Saturday afternoon. Galvin was also the top rebounder for Bellarmine by grabbing nine boards. Merriweather followed with 13 points and Curry tacked on 11 points to round out the double digit scorers. The Knights were successful on 31 of 65 shots from the field (47.7%), 6 of 13 from behind the arc (46.2%), and 10 of 16 from the free throw line (62.5%).
The Huskies will look to rebound on Sunday afternoon when they take on Southern Indiana on day two of the USI Thanksgiving Classic. The tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.