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Cardinals Fall in Season Opener to Knights, 66-53

Anna Hall lead the team with nine rebounds in the season opener against Bellarmine...
Anna Hall lead the team with nine rebounds in the season opener against Bellarmine...

Score: Bellarmine 66, Saginaw Valley 53 
Records: BU (1-0) | SVSU (0-1)
Location: Knights Hall 

LOUISVILLE — The Saginaw Valley State Women's Basketball team opened up the 2017-18 season on the road, facing Bellarmine University Friday (Nov. 10) night. After building an 11 point lead over the Knights heading into the half, Bellarmine responded quickly in the third quarter, outscoring the Cardinals 21-2. Saginaw Valley battled in the final minutes of the fourth but could not pull ahead, dropping the regional matchup to the Knights with a 66-53 score.

After Bellarmine came out strong in the first minute posting a 4-0 lead, Laurel Jacqmain gave Saginaw Valley its first edge at 5-4 with a triple, assisted by Anna Hall. The Cardinals kept that lead and brought an eight point advantage into the second quarter, 20-12. 

Saginaw Valley State kept grinding out points throughout the second quarter, creating a marginal lead of four or more for the remainder of the half. The Cardinals headed into the locker room at 37-26, holding their largest lead of the night of 11 over the Knights. 

Bellarmine was not finished and came out strong against Saginaw Valley in the third quarter, posting 21 points while holding the Cardinals to only two. The Knights took their second lead of the night at the 4:50 mark, 38-37. At the end of the third, the Cardinals trailed 47-39. 

BU led by its largest margin of 17 points (60-43) with 6:24 to play in the game, but the Cardinals would fight back to cut into that. 

The deficit was brought down to 12 after SVSU point leader Abby Duffy posted her final layup of the night to make the score 62-50 at the 4:34 mark. This was as close as the Cardinals would get the remainder of the contest. 

Bellarmine pushed back in the final minutes to take the lead back out to 16 points. Even with the last shot of the night going to SVSU's Hannah Settingsgaard on a late triple, the lead would be cut to 13 and the Cardinals eventually would fall to the Knights, 66-53.

Inside the Box Score

• Hall led the Cardinal defense by grabbing a team-high of nine rebounds and three steals. She totaled three assists on the night and scored six points. She was named the Meijer "Player of the Game." 
• The SVSU offense was led by Duffy, scoring a team-high 10 points on 5-12 shooting. She added four rebounds and three assists in her 30 minutes of action.
• Francesca Coury added nine points off the bench, going 3-6 from beyond the arc. Coury added three rebounds and one assist as well. 
The Knights posted a 47-32 edge on the glass and had a slight 26-21 advantage in points in the paint.
• SVSU's bench outscored Bellarmine's by a 24-19 margin. 

From Head Coach Jamie Pewinski

"We played with great energy and effort in the first half and did a great job of turning that into transition. In the second half, we just got rattled and couldn't find our rhythm, which allowed Bellarmine to force the action in transition and get easy points on offensive rebounds. Overall, we have a lot to takeaway from the game and will use this as an experience to grow from as we go forward in the season."

Up Next...

The Cardinals will stay on the road for another regional match up against Southern Indiana on Sunday (Nov. 12) afternoon. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. in the USI Arena. 

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