LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The clash between the Great Lakes Valley Conference's top scoring offense and its shrewdest defense only lived up to half its billing thanks to a sizzling effort from the Bellarmine University women's basketball team.
On Thursday at Knights Hall, BU shot a blistering 65.5 percent in the second half and had four players score in double figures in a 92-74 romp over Truman State.
Junior forward Sarah Galvin racked up a game-high 23 points for Bellarmine, which improved to 11-0 overall and 5-0 in GLVC play. Senior guard Mackenzie Martinez sank five of her six shots in scoring 14 points, sophomore guard Raven Merriweather added 13 and sophomore forward Beth Bowers chipped in 12 against Truman State (10-6, 4-2 GLVC).
Bellarmine's 92 points were its second most of the season following the 96 it posted in the opener against Bluefield State. The point production was jaw-dropping considering Truman State entered the game leading the GLVC in points allowed per game (51.5) and field-goal percentage defense (33.3). The most points the Bulldogs had previously yielded was 77.
Ranked No. 17 in the Division II Media Poll, Bellarmine shot 53 percent from the field, its top mark of the season. The Knights also had a season high in 3-pointers made (11) and 3-point percentage (61.1). Defensively their five blocks was tops on the season.
Bellarmine led from wire to wire, but the game was tight through three quarters. The Knights were on top 24-21 after the first quarter, 42-41 at halftime and 64-56 after three periods.
With 5:37 left, Bellarmine's lead was only six, but the Knights delivered the knockout with a game-clinching 19-5 run. Martinez started the eruption with a traditional three-point play, and then the Knights started exploiting the modern version of the triple.
Merriweather and Galvin buried consecutive 3-pointers. After baskets by sophomore forward Brooke Valentine and Bowers, Galvin again canned a trifecta. Then freshman center Ally Mayhaus got into the act, sinking another shot from behind the arc. And, for good measure, senior forward Nicole Bryant drilled one from downtown.
Truman State had five players score in double figures. Ashley Hartwig and Rachel Steinhoff had 15 apiece, Kasey Gassensmith added 13, Courtney Strait chipped in 12 and Michalina Tomczak contributed 11.
Led by Merriweather, Bellarmine's bench outscored Truman State's 28-8. Galvin grabbed eight rebounds, Bowers blocked three shots and Martinez collected three steals.
Bellarmine will host No. 19 Quincy at 1 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. The Hawks defeated Southern Indiana 78-65 on Thursday backed by 14 3-pointers.
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