Wilberforce, Ohio - The Marian women's basketball team got off to their second straight 3-0 start Tuesday night as the Knights handled Wilberforce University 76-41. Marian used a 29 point third quarter to seal the game, allowing less than 10 points in three of the four quarters. Marian is now 3-0 on the season.
Marian turned up the offensive fire-power in their third win of the year, while bringing a new level of defensive intensity. The Knights trailed 6-0 just 90 seconds into the first quarter, but quickly found an offensive rhythm out-scoring the Bulldogs 17-4 over the remainder of the quarter. The Knights continued to be aggressive on the offensive end of the court as the second quarter began, as Marian went up by a sizeable 12 point lead at halftime.
Dejah Cyrus led the charge for Marian as the third quarter began, scoring eight of the Knights 29 points in the quarter. Marian's lead grew to 34 after a Katie Ernstberger three-point field goal at the end of the quarter, the largest of the game for the visitors. With the game at hand, Marian cruised through the fourth-quarter winning the game 76-41.
"Today was a good balanced win. There was lots of production from our bench tonight," said head coach Katie Gearlds. "That's going to be vital as we look to grind out the season. We've got to keep pushing to get better and today was a step in the right direction."
The Knights had 15 steals in the game, with seven of them coming in the third quarter alone. In addition to the 15 steals, the Knights forced 26 Bulldogs turnovers.
Just three games into her collegiate career, Abby Downard set a new-career high as the freshman poured in a game-high 21 points. The freshman was a cool 9-9 at the charity stripe, making over half of the team's 16 free-throws. Cyrus finished the game with a monsterous 15-point, 13-rebound performance, posting her first double-double of the season. Kellie Kirkhoff finished the game with 10 points.
The frontcourt duo of Cyrus and Sarah Corbin combined for 20 of the team's 33 rebounds, with Corbin having seven of her own in the game. Joana Soeiro led Marian with nine assists, the third highest single-game total for the Knights all-time assist leader in her career. Sway also had six steals in the contest.
Marian will continue their four-game road stretch this weekend as they head to Chicago to play two games at St. Francis (Ill.). The Knights will play top-25 opponent Cardinal Stritch on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. ET.
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