SIOUX CENTER, Iowa -- The Bellevue University women's basketball team came out swinging early but were unable to keep pace with No. 5-ranked Dordt University in the second half as the Bruins fell 94-72 in non-conference action on Tuesday evening at De Witt Gymnasium.
(RV) Bellevue: 7-5
#5 Dordt: 13-1
Recap: #5 Dordt 94, (RV) BU 72
Play was close in the early going with neither team building a lead of more than two possessions in the first half.
An early 9-4 spurt gave the Defenders a 13-8 edge midway through the first quarter but Bellevue answered with five-straight points to tie the game and trailed just 21-19 after one period.
After scoring the opening five points of the second quarter – part of a 7-0 run – Bellevue took a 24-21 lead over the home side. Dordt would go on to stretch the lead to six points, 36-30 with 3:35 left, but Faith Ross knocked down a trey at the other end to halve the deficit.
Dordt took a 40-38 lead into the break.
Brittany Hill and Elexis Martinez combined for 21 points in the half as the Bruins trailed by just two points at the break. However, a collision late in the second quarter ended Hill's night prematurely.
Dordt came out strong out after halftime, using a 15-4 run over the first 6:14 of the third quarter to grab a 13-point advantage. A pair of free throws from Jamie Winkler with five seconds left looked to give BU some momentum headed into the fourth but a three-pointer by Dordt's Gabby Kreykes at the buzzer served as a back-breaker.
The Defenders finished off the game, out-scoring BU 26-20 in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
Martinez finished with 18 points and eight boards to lead Bellevue. Faith Ross joined her in double figures with 11 points. Hill tossed in nine while Delaney VanBlaricon and Cassie Jones each chipped in eight points with Jones adding six boards.
Karly Gustavson scored 20 points and Erika Feenstra added 17 and a team-high six rebounds to lead Dordt who saw eight players score at least five points and a total of 12 work their way into the scoring column.
Both teams shot the ball well from the free throw line with BU sinking 18-of-19 (94.7 percent) attempts and Dordt draining 21-of-24 (87.5 percent) of their free tosses.
Dordt forced Bellevue into 19 turnovers which the Defenders converted into 29 points at the offensive end. By contrast, Dordt turned the Ball over just 11 times leading to 14 BU points off turnovers.
Bellevue travels to Nevada, Mo. on Saturday, Dec. 14 for a non-conference tilt against Cottey College at 1 p.m. from the Hinkhouse Center Gymnasium. BU topped Cottey 83-41 back on Nov. 2 in the BU/NCC Classic.