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SMC Basketball: SMC to face Flying Dutch

Bobby Graham | Friday, January 30, 2009

For the Saint Mary’s basketball team, this weekend’s game arguably carries more weight than any other they have played up until this point.

With only six games left in the MIAA regular season, the Belles will travel to Holland, Mich., this Saturday for a conference matchup against the nationally-ranked Flying Dutch of Hope College. Since both teams are tied with MIAA best 9-1 conference records, the outcome of Saturday’s conference will have major ramifications in determining which of the two will end the regular season as champions.

Fatigue could be an issue for Saint Mary’s (11-7, 9-1), which, despite winning its last three games, is playing its fourth game in a row away from home. One of those games was a thrilling overtime win against Calvin Wednesday.

Hope (15-1, 9-1) is coming off of a 79-42 win against Alma last Wednesday.

The Belles, interestingly enough, were the only team to hand the Flying Dutch a loss this season. To make sure there is a similar outcome Saturday, the Belles will need a strong effort from senior forward and South Bend native Erin Newsom, who leads the team with just under 15 points a game. On the other side of the ball, Saint Mary’s must contain Hope’s depth on the bench. Sophomore guard Erika Bruinsma has lead Hope in scoring three out of the last six games, despite coming off the bench.

Tip off is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the DeVos Fieldhouse.