SOMERS, Wisc. - A resilient effort Thursday by the Bellarmine University women's basketball team was personified by Destony Curry.
The junior guard brushed off her shooting struggles to sink the game-winning shot with three seconds left as the Knights rallied from a 19-point deficit to post an exhilarating 75-73 victory over Wisconsin-Parkside at the DeSimone Gymnasium in Great Lakes Valley Conference play.
It was Curry's leaping steal on the press that led to Bellarmine (13-1, 8-1 GLVC) securing the ball with 23 seconds left and the score tied at 73 with Wisconsin-Parkside (10-6, 4-4).
Working from deep on the right wing, junior guard Kelsey Adwell, who racked up a career-high 19 points, dished to Curry on the right baseline after three Rangers cut off her penetration. Without hesitating, Curry received the pass and immediately drove toward the paint, pulled up right at the lane and lofted a shot over a UWP defender that found the bottom of the net with three seconds left to clinch a wild victory.
Curry was 1 for 10 from the floor when she made the assertive move and confidently released the shot. The Knights had leaned heavily on Adwell and junior forward Sarah Galvin (26 points), who easily combined to score over half of BU's points. Curry finished with nine, none bigger than the last two.
On Saturday, Quincy dealt Bellarmine its lone loss of the season after the Hawks bested the Knights in a game that essentially morphed into a free-throw shooting contest.
That didn't happen Thursday, as Bellarmine put itself in position to win with a clutch performance at the charity stripe that concluded with a 22-for-26 (84.6 percent) showing, including 8 of 8 in the fourth quarter and 15 of 15 overall in the second half.
Bellarmine trailed 67-59 with 4:27 left but steadily caught up to Wisconsin-Parkside. Galvin scored 10 straight points - three baskets, four free throws - as the Knights battled back to within two with 1:01 remaining.
Wisconsin-Parkside followed by going 1 for 2 at the free throw line, including its third consecutive miss. An Adwell layup cut it to one before the Rangers again went 1 of 2 at the charity stripe with 42 seconds left. Adwell then spotted sophomore guard Raven Merriweather for a tying layup to set the stage for Curry's heroics.
Just as it did at Rockhurst, Bellarmine erased a major deficit to earn the improbable win. The Knights trailed 20-9 after the first quarter and 32-13 with 6:24 left before halftime. Five minutes later, BU trailed by a basket after ripping off a game-changing 17-0 run. Adwell sank a jumper with two seconds left before the intermission as the Knights trailed 36-34.
Bellarmine plays Saturday at Lewis.
For more coverage of Bellarmine athletics, follow us on Twitter (@BUKnights), Instagram (BUKnights) and Facebook (BUKnights).