LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Lady Panthers rallied in the fourth quarter but it was not enough to overcome a hot start from Bellarmine, and sixth-ranked Drury had their 13-game winning streak halted on Thursday night in Louisville, Kentucky in an 84-70 loss to the Knights.
The Lady Panthers lost for the first time since a Nov. 14 defeat at Southwest Baptist and fell to 15-2 and 6-1 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Bellarmine improved to 9-8 and 4-4 in the league.
Drury fell behind 18-5 in the opening quarter and trailed 42-22 at halftime. The Knights took a 22 point lead in the third quarter before the Lady Panthers worked their way back into the game.
Drury pulled as close as six, 70-64, with 3:43 remaining. Bellarmine, however, scored the next two baskets and the Lady Panthers were never within striking distance again.
“We were too comfortable and too stagnant at the start,” said Drury head coach Molly Miller. “It was a great fourth quarter, but when you play two of the quarters like we did, you dig yourself in too deep of a hole, and that’s what happened to us.”
Bellarmine shot 61 percent from the field, the best shooting percentage the Lady Panthers have given up in a game this season. Knights senior Raven Merriweather led all scorers with 28 points on 8 of 13 shooting, and she was 10 for 10 from the free throw line.
Alice Heinzler had 20 points to lead Drury while Hailey Diestelkamp added 16. The Lady Panthers shot 43 percent from the field but were just 5 for 18 from three-point range. Drury also committed a season-high 27 turnovers.
“Bellarmine did a great job playing to our tendencies,” added Miller. “We have to learn from that because everybody will be looking at this game for how to defend and attack us.”
The road trip continues for the Lady Panthers on Saturday as Drury plays at the University of Indianapolis. Game time is noon (central) in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Game Notes courtesy of Drury Athletics.