By Spencer Brown, Staff writer
The No. 2 Drury Panthers came into Knights Hall and continued their perfect season with an 86-61 victory. The loss was the fourth straight for the Knights.
Junior Hailey Diestelkamp led Drury with 24 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Mikayla Berry led Bellarmine with 12 points.
Both teams relied on their defense. Drury forced 32 turnovers that led to 32 points, as Lauren Holmes paced the Panthers with eight steals. Bellarmine forced 27 turnovers, including 15 steals. Three Knights (Berry, Katie Downey and Kathleen Scott) had three steals apiece.
Early in the first quarter, Bellarmine (8-8, 2-6 Great Lakes Valley Conference) kept the game close. The score was even at 17 before Drury (18-0, 8-0 GLVC) went on a 7-0 run to end the first quarter. The other quarters were all Drury, however, as the Panthers took a 27-point lead at one point.
The Panthers dominated the boards and outrebounded Bellarmine 51-34. The 22 offensive rebounds led to 25 second-chance points for the Panthers, and that proved to be the difference in the game.
“I’m extremely proud of the effort on rebounding,” said Drury head coach Molly Miller.
Bellarmine head coach Chancellor Dugan said Drury’s work on the boards helped them secure the win.
“(Drury) got rebounds and run-outs all game, and that’s what killed us,” Dugan said.
Another area of struggle for Bellarmine came from the free throw line, where the Knights shot 54 percent compared to Drury’s 73 percent.
“We’ve been shooting (free throws) well in practice, we just need to take a deep breath during the game and focus,” Berry said. “We need to learn how to handle pressure…(Drury) showed our weaknesses and we need to work on that.”
Bellarmine will have a quick turnaround and look to end its four-game losing streak against Missouri S&T (7-8, 3-5 GLVC) at Knights Hall Saturday.