The SVSU Lady Cardinals dropped their first two games of the regular season, as they took part in the annual GLIAC/GLVC Challenge.
The team traveled to Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday, Nov. 10, losing the contest 66-53.
Junior forward Abby Duffy led the Cardinals in scoring with 10 points. Bellarmine guard Raven Merriweather led all players with 23 points.
SVSU led the Knights at halftime by 11 points, 37-26. That lead was quickly swallowed up by a strong third quarter performance by Bellarmine. The Cardinals scored two points in the period to the Knights’ 21.
The Cardinals shot just 1-of-15 from the floor, while the Knights shot 9-of-17. The Lady Cardinals struggled to bounce back in the fourth quarter, giving up 19 points and scoring 14.
Junior Anna Hall had a team-high nine rebounds and added three assists to go with her six points. The guard was busy on both ends of the court, as she recorded a game-high three steals.
Redshirt freshman Laurel Jacqmain scored eight points as the second leading scorer for the starting unit. She also grabbed four rebounds in her first game as a Cardinal.
As one of the few players with extensive collegiate experience, Hall is needed to show veteran leadership on the court.
“The biggest thing for us three [Hall, Duffy and junior guard Hannah Settingsgaard] is using our experience to set an example,” Hall said. “We really need to step up to show them the culture and way we do things. It’s crucial for us to put in the extra time and work in order to help make our team successful.”
Settingsgaard echoed Hall’s sentiments of being in a position of leadership this season.
“Being the only juniors, we are the three oldest on the team and are looked to be leaders vocally and by example,” Settingsgaard said. “We are super excited for the chance to make a name for ourselves and be leaders for the underclassmen. Our goal is to continue to get better and trust our experience.”
Sophomore Francesca Coury scored nine points off the bench, going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc. The guard also grabbed three boards in her 18 minutes of play.
True freshman guard Rozhane Wells added to the bench scoring by shooting 3-of-4 from the field and scoring eight points.
As a unit, the Cardinals shot 21-for-57 from the field, including 8-for-20 from behind the three-point line.
The team was outrebounded 47-32. Bellarmine scored 20 second-chance points, and the Cardinals scored four. SVSU’s bench outscored Bellarmine 24-19.
SVSU also lost on the road to the University of Southern Indiana on Sunday, Nov. 12, 86-60.
Hall led the team in scoring and rebounding with 16 and six, respectively. She shot 6-of-7 from the field and made both of her three-point attempts. She also had a team-high six turnovers.
USI forward Kaydie Grooms led all players with 23 points.
The game was heavily controlled by the Eagles, as the Cardinals led for just 43 seconds. SVSU turned the ball over 28 times, resulting in 31 points for USI.
SVSU shot 47 percent from the field and had a 43 percent three-point percentage. The team won the rebound battle 29-28.
The Cardinals kept it close through two quarters, as the Eagles held a 42-37 point lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw the Eagles extend the lead to 11 points. USI ran away with the game, as the Eagles outscored SVSU 25-10 on the closing quarter of play.
Duffy added five of her own rebounds to go with her six points on 3-of-7 shooting. Settingsgaard had a team-high four assists.
Coury again led the offensive spark for the bench unit, making 4-of-5 shots, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Her 11 points off the bench came in 16 minutes of play.
The team welcomes Hillsdale for its home opener on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. The Cardinals also host Ursuline College on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 1 p.m.