Strong Third Quarter Paces No. 25 Bethel to Win Over Saint Mary’s

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – Behind a 25-point effort from senior forward Taite Anderson, the Bethel University women's basketball team defeated Saint Mary's 78-62 Saturday afternoon inside the Robertson Center.

A strong third quarter that saw the Royals hold Saint Mary's to six points aided Bethel to its now 11-0 record. The Royals take their perfect 6-0 mark in MIAC play to Augsburg next Wednesday in a battle of conference unbeatens at 7 p.m.

Anderson was a perfect 3-for-3 from long distance while bringing in a game-high nine rebounds. Freshman guard Kat Brown-Erdal found a rhythm knocking down three 3-pointers en route to 13 points. Senior Haylee Barker had an impressive stat line of 10 points, six assists and eight steals. Bella Williams finished the game with seven steals and five assists

The Royals never trailed in the contest despite the Cardinals keeping it close early. Anderson knocked down her first three of the game sparking a 7-0 run for BU. The Royals lead reached double digits but not for long as a layup from the Cardinals moved it to 21-13.

Saint Mary's turned it on in the second quarter cutting down Bethel's 12-point lead to four with 3:18 left in the first half. The Cardinal's Shayley Vesel scored 11 of her 23 points in the second while Bethel held a 12-4 advantage on points in the paint.  Despite not scoring in the final 1:36, the Royals took a 40-34 lead into the locker room.

Bethel capitalized on its halftime adjustments in the third quarter. Brown-Erdal knocked down a three from the top of the key sparking the offense. Full court pressure from the Royals forced SMU into 10 turnovers which turned into 11 points. An 11-0 run over a four minute stretch along with Anderson's buzzer beating three gave Bethel a 61-40 advantage heading into the final quarter. 

Anderson's bucket in the lane with 8:39 remaining gave BU its largest margin of the game. SMU shot 45.7 percent in the fourth where they outscored the Royals 22-17, but Bethel had already done its damage.

Story by Austin Lagesse, Bethel University Sports Information Director