STAUNTON, Va. – The Mary Baldwin University women's basketball team closed the 2019 calendar year with a 60-50 loss against Southern Virginia in nonconference action at the PAC on Monday night.
With the loss, the Fighting Squirrels fall even at 5-5 on the season. Meanwhile, the Knights improve to 9-2 overall and have won eight of their last nine contests.
Demet Saygili led MBU with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds. She also tallied a pair of assists and a steal in the loss.
For the Knights, Katie Garrish finished with 29 points and 18 rebounds (five offensive) – both game highs – to go with five steals, two blocks and two assists. She also eclipsed the 1,000 career point plateau in the victory. Savannah Christensen tallied 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks in 27 minutes off the bench.
The Fighting Squirrels started the game on a 10-3 run that eclipsed almost four and a half minutes of clock. A pair of free throws and a jumper by Saygili extended the lead to 14-5 before Garrish made the last basket of the first quarter at the one minute mark to set the score at 14-7 at the end of the period.
The Knights responded by scoring the first nine points of the second quarter to take a 16-14 lead with 4:50 showing on the clock. A Bryonna Woofter jumper and a Heilig three put MBU back in front, 19-16, with 3:18 left in the half, before a Chiara Ballam free throw and a Sophie Wright layup tied the game once again. Woofter dropped a layup and Saygili nailed a trey to give the Fighting Squirrels a 24-19 lead at the break.
Three straight scores from MBU to start the second half moved the advantage to eight points (29-21) before a layup from Garrish skipped it to a six-point lead with eight minutes left in the period. Two free throws from Nicole Mallon at the five-minute mark set the score to 31-24. Alternating baskets from each side pushed the score to 35-30 with 3:57 showing on the clock. The Knights scored seven straight points before a pair of free throws from MBU tied the score at 37-37 and a layup from Garrish gave the Knights their first lead of the night with under a minute left in the third.
MBU tied the game right before the end of the period and a three from M. Moran put the home side back in front. Consecutive scores from SVU set the score at 45-42 in favor of the visitors, but a three from Brooke Anders tied the game once again. Alternating scores from both sides led to a layup from Christenson that pushed the SVU lead to three (49-46) with 2:29 showing on the clock. Another Knight basket pushed the advantage to five points, but that was as close as the Fighting Squirrels got as they eventually fell, 60-50.
MBU shot just 23.2 percent (13-56) from the floor compared to 37.3 percent (25-67) for the visitors. SVU also outrebounded the home team 49-39 and held a 40-8 advantage in points in the paint. The Knights garnered 24 points off the bench compared to just nine from the Fighting Squirrels.
MBU returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 4, as it opens the new calendar year on the road against N.C. Wesleyan with tipoff scheduled for 2 pm.