STAUNTON, Va. – The Mary Baldwin University women's basketball team returned to action with a 81-64 victory against Meredith in USA South action at the PAC on Sunday night.
The win pushes the Fighting Squirrels to 5-4 overall and pick up their first conference win of the season sending their league record to 1-2. Meanwhile, the Avenging Angels move to 3-6 on the season behind a 0-2 record in league play.
Demet Saygili led MBU with 16 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the floor and made 8-of-9 from the free-throw line. Saygili pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and also tallied six assists and four steals in 38 minutes.
Hannah Varner tallied nine points, seven rebounds, an assist and a steal in her first collegiate start.
The Angels started the contest on a 9-3 run that eclipsed nearly five minutes of the opening quarter. A layup from Bryonna Woofter ended the run and cut the lead to four before Saygili dropped back-to-back jumpers to tie the game at 9-9. M. Moran hit a jumper with 4:51 showing on the clock to give MBU its first lead of the night. The jumper was part of a 17-6 run the Fighting Squirrels put together over the last five minutes of the period, taking a 20-15 lead at the end of the first.
Anders hit a pair of threes within a minute of each other to push the advantage to nine points, 26-17, and another three, this time from Varner, gave the Fighting Squirrels a 12 point lead and forced an Angel's timeout. Alternating baskets from each side for the next several minutes maintained the 12-point advantage before a jumper and a pair of free throws stretched the lead to 16, 39-23, with 2:50 left in the half. Both sides hit on several free throws as MBU held a 42-31 lead into halftime.
Meredith was on the board first in the third quarter on a jumper by Lindsay Bell to cut the deficit to under 10 points for the first time since early in the second. Six straight points from Mary Baldwin pushed the lead to 15, 48-33, before a triple by Daia Dawkins made the score 48-36 with seven minutes left in the quarter. The Angels continued their run on back-to-back baskets to trim the lead to just eight points, forcing a timeout by MBU. MC again cut the lead inside of 10 points but a three from Gather pushed the lead to 10, which remained the lead entering the final quarter, 60-50.
In the fourth quarter, the Fighting Squirrels took advantage of a pair of Avenging Angels fouling out of the game to outscore the visitors 21-14 in the period to pick up an 81-64 victory.
As a team, the Fighting Squirrels shot 42.4 percent (28-66) from the field and forced 21 turnovers, which turned into 26 points. Meredith finished the game hitting on 40.0 percent (24-60) of its shots. MBU outrebounded the Angels by a 41-40 margin as well.
The Fighting Squirrels remain idle until after the Christmas holiday and will return to action in nonconference play against Southern Virginia on Dec. 30, in the PAC at 6 pm.