SPRING ARBOR, Mich. — Up by eight points after one quarter, 21st-ranked University of Saint Francis really clamped down on defense holding Spring Arbor University to three points in the second quarter leading to a 73-43 win at Spring Arbor University on Tuesday night.

The USF Lady Cougars outscored SAU 27-3 in the second quarter of the Crossroads League opening game for both teams. USF won its fifth consecutive game in NAIA action improving to 6-1.

USF trailed once, 3-0 and after two ties Kara Gerka put the Lady Cougars ahead for good with a 3-pointer with 5:01 to play in the first quarter. Emma Applegate made it 11-6 with a basket and after SAU cut the difference back to three, 11-8 with 2:25 to play, USF went on a 34-5 surge through the end of the first quarter to halftime thoroughly dominating SAU. USF led 45-13 at halftime.

Gerka scored 17 of her team-leading 25 points in the first half. Whitney Will added 12 points and Jalyn Foland 10. In all, 12 Lady Cougars broke into the scoring column for USF. Savannah Buck dished out eight assists, scored six points, finished with four steals and a team-lead tying four rebounds. Josie Murphy and Chandler Jones also grabbed four rebounds apiece.

USF only commited eight turnovers while outscoring SAU 19-2 off turnovers.

USF took its biggest lead of the game at 37, 55-18, after a Gerka 3-pointer, one of five for the sophomore out of seven attempts. Buck and Foland connected on two 3-pointers apiece.