INDIANAPOLIS – The Marian women’s basketball team had four players score in double figures and picked up an 80-70 win over Mount Vernon Nazarene Tuesday night on John Grimes Court. The Knights are 8-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference with the win.

The two teams battled through a close first quarter that ended with Marian up 21-18. Both teams were able to get to the hoop in the first quarter and Marian benefitted from a pair of Macy Willoughby 3-pointers. In the second quarter, Mount Vernon struggled to slow the Marian bench as the Knights piled up 18 bench points and the second unit helped stretch the lead to 10. The Cougars were able to stay within striking distance thanks to a trio of starters that combined for 22 points.

Hot shooting from the Cougars helped Mount Vernon back in the game early in the third. Within the first three minutes the Cougars whittled the lead down to four and it got down to two before the end of the quarter. Willoughby put the lead back to four with a pair of free throws and Dejah Cyrus extended it to six with a pair on the next possession with two minutes to play in the quarter. Marian carried a 53-48 lead to the fourth quarter

A Sierra Basista jumper with 8:15 to play cut the lead to one, which was the closest Mount Vernon had been all half, but the Knights responded with a run to make it 61-52 with 5:43 to play. A Kellie Kirkhoff 3-pointer forced a Cougar timeout, and MVNU answered with a 6-0 run. With under four minutes to play, Mount Vernon had a 3-on-2 fastbreak with a chance to cut the lead to two, but Abby Downard stole the ball, led a 2-on-1 break the other way and dished it to Kirkhoff for an easy layup.

Kirkhoff put the game away on the next two possessions with a pair of treys off assists from Joana Soeiro. The free throw line made all the difference for the Knights as they made 24 free throws, while Mount Vernon only shot six. The Knights also dominated in bench points with 34 compared to MVNU’s six and in second chance points with a 15-4 advantage.

Kirkhoff’s 22 points led the way for the Knights, while Downard chipped in with 14. Willoughby had 11 and Cyrus had 10. Sarah Corbin led Marian with nine rebounds.

The Knights will head to Miami for a pair of games this weekend.