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Belles pound Andrews 72-26

Bobby Griffin | Friday, December 5, 2003

To say that Wednesday night’s contest between Saint Mary’s College and Andrews University was one sided would be a complete understatement.

The Belles played fiery offense and tough defense, after a disappointing loss Tuesday night to Manchester, en route to a 72-26 lopsided victory, clearly showing that one team simply did not come ready to play.

The Belles controlled the game from the first minutes, going on a 21-2 run to start the game. With the starters resting much of the game, the Saint Mary’s bench players had little trouble running the offense, namely freshman Bridget Lipke who shot 4-6 from the field and finished with nine points, four assists and three steals. Lipke’s statistics do not tell the whole story, as she took control as the floor general and created much of the offense throughout the game.

“People were hungry tonight,” Coach Suzanne Bellina said. “Players [who are used to] little playing time really picked us up.”

Coming off a disappointing loss Tuesday night, the Belles made solid adjustments in order to blow the doors off Andrews. They pushed the ball well, exploiting Andrews’ weak transition defense and finishing easy lay-ups and pull-up jumpers.

The Belles shot the ball very well compared to Tuesday night’s game, shooting 47.7 percent from the floor over the entire game and 55.9 percent in the first half. This improved shooting was a key in bouncing back from Tuesday night’s loss.

“Shooting was a big [improvement]. Jess Binhack stepped up big finishing her shots,” Bellina said.

Binhack finished the game 4-7 from the floor, with nine points and four rebounds. Her solid inside presence was key to developing a half court offense that left Andrews looking lost for much of the game.

There were not too many bright spots for Andrews, as they shot the ball extremely poorly, played weak defense and committed numerous turnovers.

Their inconsistency scoring points put them in an early first half hole that they never recovered from.

Andrews turned the ball over 36 times, 11 of which came from point forward Daniela Santos. Santos, like most of the Andrews squad, could not find a solution for Bellina’s defensive schemes and were over-matched for much of the game.

Although she accounted for many turnovers, Santos was the top scorer for Andrews, scoring 11 points on 5-20 shooting and playing the entire 40 minutes.

The Belles will need to take their momentum from this blowout into the weekend, where they will host Calvin College, Washington University and Illinois College in the Saint Mary’s College Roundball Tournament.

Not only will they need to maintain the level of play exhibited in Wednesday night’s game but they will need to improve several aspects of their play in order to defeat these arguably higher-level opponents.

“We need to work on post defense and defending penetration,” Bellina said.

The Belles will play at home on Friday and Saturday in the Roundball Tournament.