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SMC BASKETBALL: Belles take two-game win streak to Albion

Joe Meixell | Tuesday, January 25, 2005

After a 93-87 win over Tri-State in a game played Monday due to a northern Indiana snowstorm, the Belles have to turn around and play two days later against the MIAA frontrunner Albion Britons.

The Britons (16-2, 8-1 in the MIAA) beat Saint Mary’s 71-62 in Albion, Mich, Dec. 1, but Belles senior forward Emily Creachbaum is confident headed into tonight’s contest at the Angela Athletic Center.

“We tend to play very well against Albion, and they don’t usually play well at our place,” Creachbaum said.

The Belles (9-9, 4-5 in the MIAA) took an 11-point lead into the locker room in the contest earlier this year, only to see it evaporate in the second half, mainly due to several turnovers.

Eliminating turnovers is key for the Belles in this game as Albion will most likely use its trademark full court press. Saint Mary’s guards Bridget Lipke, Alison Kessler and Bridget Boyce will be called upon to get the ball over center court effectively.

“Our guards usually do a very good job of breaking the press, so if they [play well today], we should be successful,” Creachbaum said.

Playing to the Belles’ favor in the Albion game was Tri-State’s style of play. The Thunder used an up-tempo, pressing style, preparing Saint Mary’s for the full court defense of the Britons.

“Their game plan is press the whole game, shoot threes, and sub every few minutes – five in and five out,” Creachbaum said of the Thunder.

The Belles had little trouble with the Tri-State press, scoring 93 points, their second highest total of the season. Maureen Bush, who poured in 31 points, was the main beneficiary of coach Suzanne Bellina’s very effective game plan.

“They pressed us the whole game, so she got some pretty good looks at the basket,” Creachbaum said of the 6-foot forward. “They had to guard her with smaller girls.”

Despite only having one day off between games, Creachbaum is not worried about the Belles being tired.

“Over Christmas we had to play three games back to back to back,” she said.

Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at the Angela Athletic Center.