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SMC Basketball: Team narrowly falls to Alma

Joe Meixell | Friday, February 8, 2008

Saint Mary’s came close to pulling away with a win over Alma, but the Scots claimed some key final free throws to seal a 68-64 win.

After falling behind 7-2 early, the Belles battled back to take the lead for 14 minutes in the first half. Despite the long stretch in front, they were unable to pull away as the Scots always seemed to make a shot when they needed one. Saint Mary’s never managed to jump ahead of the Scots by more than seven points.

Late in the first half, Alma made a quick run to take a two-point lead with 1:35 left. But then, on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by junior guard Katie Rashid (12 points, eight assists), the Belles headed into the locker room with a 31-30 lead.

The second half, though, was a much different story.

The Scots (8-10, 5-6 MIAA) went on a tear, jumping out to a quick five-point lead three minutes into the half. From there, they slowly but surely built up to an eleven-point lead with 11:53 left in the game. The Belles failed to catch Alma – the Scots led by 12 at one point after a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Lacey Best-Rowden. With 7:12 left in the game, Saint Mary’s was down 60-48 and in dire need of a run.

The Belles’ starting five tried to answer the call. After Best-Rowden’s triple, Saint Mary’s went on a 12-3 run over 4:31, culminating in a pair of free-throws by Rashid to make the score 65-63 with 2:41 left. A minute and a half later, Alma’s lead fell to one when Belles senior guard Alison Kessler scored two of her team-high 18 on free throws with 1:07 left.

The Scots secured the 68-64 win with a few key free throws, dropping Saint Mary’s to a 5-7 record in the MIAA and 9-11 overall mark.

The Belles now look ahead to Saturday, when they will take on Kalamazoo at home.