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SMC Basketball: Hungry Belles seek revenge

Meaghan Veselik | Friday, January 25, 2008

After an upsetting four-point loss to Calvin on Wednesday, Saint Mary’s will have a tough time rebounding with a win Saturday when it takes on conference rival Hope.

The Flying Dutch (16-0, 8-0 MIAA) lead the MIAA and posted a 75-58 win over the Belles (8-8, 4-4 MIAA) on Dec. 21.

Saint Mary’s had a strong effort to defeat Calvin, narrowing the Knights’ 24-14 lead with eight minutes remaining in the first period to 31-30 at the half. As the Knights continued to score in the second half – led by junior forward Marcia Harris, who finished with 23 points – the Belles managed to stay close, pulling within 63-62 with 1:11 to go. Still, they were unable to snatch the win.

“Our team played very hard against Calvin,” Belles head coach Jennifer Henley said. “We had some opportunities to come home with the win, but we had too many turnovers, especially in the first half.”

Saint Mary’s had 20 turnovers, 13 in the first half. But Henley said the Belles were able to stay close thanks to their rebounding and 92.9 percent performance from the line.

Up next for the Belles is a second chance at making history as they attempt to top the undefeated Flying Dutch, a team they haven’t beaten since the College joined the MIAA in 1997.

In the teams’ last meeting, Saint Mary’s struggled to keep up with Hope, shooting only 36.2 percent to Hope’s 46.8 percent.

“Hope comes into the game still undefeated and top in the country,” Henley said. “We need to find a way to slow down Hope’s transition game and play solid team defense.”

The Belles take on the Flying Dutch at 3 p.m. Saturday at Angela Athletic Center.