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SMC Basketball: Belles lose overtime thriller

Joe Meixell | Thursday, January 18, 2007

In a game decided in the final minute of overtime, one foul made all the difference.

The Albion Britons defeated Saint Mary’s 71-68 Wednesday. A 62-62 tie at the end of regulation forced the extra period.

The Belles led 59-58 with 43 seconds left in regulation when junior guard Alison Kessler hit a three-pointer to stretch the lead to four. Albion senior guard Jessica Babcock came right back with a four-point play after Kessler committed a foul, sending the game into overtime.

With the score tied at 67 in the extra period, after four missed shots and four offensive rebounds for Saint Mary’s, Babcock fouled Kessler, who missed the first free throw and made the second to put the Belles up by one.

Babcock returned fire, sinking a jumper to put the Britons ahead by one. With 40 seconds left, senior guard Bridget Lipke fouled Briton guard Megan Garvey. Garvey sank both free throws, sealing the victory for Albion.

The game was close throughout. Albion’s largest lead was eight points and Saint Mary’s was four points. At the half, Albion led by just four.

Saint Mary’s was, for the most part, out shot. Albion shot 72 percent from the free throw line, while Saint Mary’s was 53 percent. Saint Mary’s hit just one of 10 three-point attempts in the first half. And in overtime, Albion shot 40 percent from the field to Saint Mary’s 20 percent.

The Belles defense was overmatched facing Babcock, who had 19 points on the night – her second-highest total this season. Kessler had a career-high 31 points, and Lipke earned her first double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 assists. Freshmen center Anna Kammrath pulled down 12 rebounds on the night.

After tonight’s game, Saint Mary’s is tied for third place in the MIAA with Albion and Olivet.