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Bad half gives Adrian win

Joe Meixell | Thursday, February 10, 2005

It was an all too familiar scenario for the Saint Mary’s Belles.

Just like earlier games this season against Albion and Alma, the Belles took a lead into the locker room against the Adrian Bulldogs, but a major second half scoring drought led to a disappointing 71-56 loss for Saint Mary’s Wednesday night at the Merillat Center in Adrian, Mich.

After a back and forth first 10 minutes, the Belles (9-13, 4-9 MIAA) pulled out to 30-20 lead just before halftime. Two Adrian threes cut the lead, but Saint Mary’s was still up 32-26 at the break.

The second half, however was a different story.

A 3-pointer by Bulldogs freshman forward Katie Psuate cut the Belles’ lead to three. Belles senior forward Emily Creachbaum answered on the other end, and it looked like the teams would be locked in a competitive game.

Then the Bulldogs scored the next 19 points.

The Belles went 12 possessions and almost 10 minutes without scoring at all. A free throw by senior center Maureen Bush with a little more than nine minutes left ended the drought, and the second Belles field goal of the half came via a layup by freshman guard Alison Kessler with 8:22 left in the game.

The Belles shot only 26 percent from the field in the second half. Creachbaum, in particular, struggled all game, making only three shots in 18 attempts.

Meanwhile, Adrian was putting on a 3-point shooting clinic. Jessie Borowiak, Amanda Rainsburger, Fallon Steele, Rita Carter and Psuate all connected from long range as the Bulldogs shot 9-18 for the game from behind the arc.

Belles head coach Suzanne Bellina said Tuesday night that stopping Rainsburger would be a major part of Saint Mary’s defensive plan.

“We have to focus on Rains-burger, their great player inside,” Bellina said in a pre-practice interview.

Bulldogs coach Kathy Morris crossed up the Belles, however, and left Rainsburger on the bench to start the game. When the 5-foot-9 senior finally entered the game, the Belles seemed to have forgotten their game plan. Rainsburger ripped through Saint Mary’s for 12 points in 28 minutes.

Rainsburger was not the only super-sub for the Bulldogs Wednesday night. Adrian had five players in double figures, including non-starters Psuate, who had 15 points to go with her 17 rebounds, and Steele, who hit four three-pointers en route to her 12 points.

Sophomore forward Justine Mullen came off the bench and scored nine points, well above her season average of 2.9 and tied for the team lead.

with Kessler, Creachbaum and junior guard Bridget Boyce.