Courtesy Bellarmine University

LAREDO, Texas -- Bellarmine fell to Texas-Permian Basin, 97-83, in the opening game of the Dustdevil Holiday Classic at the Kinesiology Building at Texas A&M International.

Bellarmine (5-4) dug a huge hole right of the gate, falling behind 14-0 over the first 3:40 of the contest. During the stretch, the Knights committed four turnovers while UTPB hauled in three offensive boards--statistics that would tell the tale of the Knights' undoing. For the game, UTPB scored 29 points off 22 Bellarmine turnovers and hauled in 22 offensive rebounds to outscore the Knights 22-11 in second chance points.

Despite the early deficit, Bellarmine clawed its way back in the game, tying the score 20-20 midway through the half on a 3-pointer by Lauren Jones. The Knights took the lead 22-20 on a pair of Kirsten Delph free throws before a quick 9-0 run put UTPB back up by seven. The Falcons led 45-40 at halftime.

In the second period, the Falcons again started quickly, building the lead to 15 points at the 14:30 mark. Bellarmine rallied for a brief lead with just over six minutes remaining before turning the ball over on four consecutive possessions. The miscues helped the Falcons go ahead by eight in a span of just 1:31 off the clock.

Jones led Bellarmine with 25 points while Chelsea Hawkins added 22 points. Freshman Therese Montano chipped in with 12 rebounds and five assists in 16 minutes of action.

UT-Permian Basin (9-2) used a more balanced scoring attack, with four players reaching double figures, led by Teisha King's 23 points.