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SMC Basketball: Belles hit road again to face?Alma

Alex West | Friday, February 6, 2009

After just one home game followed a four-game road trip, Saint Mary’s will hit the highway again this weekend to visit conference foe Alma Saturday at 3 p.m.

The Belles (12-8, 10-2 MIAA) took advantage of their home game with an 86-54 thrashing of Olivet Wednesday, and coach Jennifer Henley said the venue played a factor in her team’s dominating performance.

“Anytime you play four games on the road, it’s going to take a toll on you,” said Henley, whose team trails first-place Hope by just half a game in the conference standings. “It was great being at home in front of our fans with Olivet. We certainly feed off of their energy.”

The Belles, winners of four of five, will look to avoid an upset against Alma (7-12, 5-6 MIAA), a team that has won three of four.

“We are still focusing on taking one game at a time as we approach the tournament,” Henley said. “With Alma, I feel we have the height advantage with our inside game.”

But Henley said Alma will present trouble because of its team speed.

“They have speed and will be able to run with us,” she said. “Alma does a great job of playing a lot of different defenses to throw you off.”

The Scots will have to try and stop Belles senior forward Erin Newsom, who leads Saint Mary’s in both points (14 per game) and rebounds (eight per game).