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InicioSPORTSHarrison scores game-high 21 points as Knights fall to Cardinals in Freedom...

Harrison scores game-high 21 points as Knights fall to Cardinals in Freedom Hall

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In the first contest between the two women’s basketball teams in iconic Freedom Hall in over two decades, Bellarmine University fell 73-43 to Louisville in nonconference action Wednesday night.

Sophomore guard Hayley Harrison matched a career high after pouring in a game-best 21 points for Bellarmine (4-7), which has faced Louisville (8-4) in each of its three seasons in Division I. Freshman center Gracie Merkle tied a game high with eight rebounds for the Knights.

Now the home of Bellarmine since the rise to D1, Freedom Hall was formerly the homecourt of Louisville through the 2009-10 season, and the Cardinals had not played in the historic venue since that time. Before Wednesday, the Knights and Cards had last met in Freedom Hall in December of 1999.

«I can’t say enough kind words about (Louisville Head Coach) Jeff Walz,» Knights Head Coach Chancellor Dugan said. «For him to bring his program here and come to our homecourt in Freedom Hall and help us grow our game, I really appreciate that.»

Bellarmine had a rough first half as the Knights trailed 34-8 at halftime. However, Bellarmine settled in after the intermission and was only outscored 39-35 by the Cardinals over the final two quarters. BU turned the ball over 19 times for the game, but only three of the giveaways came in the second half.

«It was huge, us taking take of the basketball (in the second half),» Dugan said. «We were our own worst enemy in that first half. Anytime we got anything going we would shoot ourselves in the foot with a turnover. I’m glad we came out and played the way we did in the second half.»

Preseason All-American Hailey Van Lith paced Louisville with 19 points and Chrislyn Carr added 13 points. The Cardinals shot 47.8 percent overall and had 20 assists, led by Carr’s seven helpers. She also tallied four of Louisville’s 13 steals.

«The biggest thing that worried me was Louisville’s fastbreak,» Dugan said. «When we played them in a halfcourt setting, I thought we did a great job. We didn’t do a very good job in that first half of stopping the ball, picking up in transition and they got some easy looks because of it.»

Harrison scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half. She finished 7-for-15 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Junior guard Claire Knies scored seven points over the final two periods. Senior forward Cam Browning grabbed five rebounds.

Bellarmine will host Wofford at 1 p.m. (ET) Saturday.

«I know they all shoot the ball, and they’re all very long,» Dugan said of Wofford. «It’s going to be a great game for us to try to get better. It’s a totally different scout than Louisville.»

For more coverage of Bellarmine athletics, follow us on Twitter (@BUKnights), Instagram (BUKnights) and Facebook (BUKnights).

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