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SMC Basketball: Belles advance in MIAA standings

Tim Singler | Monday, January 18, 2010

Saint Mary’s squeaked out another win Saturday against MIAA opponent Olivet to stay in the running with the conference’s finest. 

The Belles (9-5, 4-2 MIAA) started out slow to begin the game. Much of the first half was back and forth between the two teams.

Neither team could retain a solid lead for a long period of time. It wasn’t until the Comets (4-12, 3-4) scored nine straight points to close out the first half that either team was able to establish a comfortable lead. Heading into halftime, the Belles faced a 31-22 deficit. 

Saint Mary’s took advantage of the Olivet defense in the second half by going on two major scoring runs. The first, a 15-0 scoring run, erased Olivet’s ten-point lead and gave Saint Mary’s a 43-38 lead.

Another scoring run came quickly for the Belles, as they did not let up by outscoring the Comets 23-4. While the Belles built a comfortable 51-42 lead, the Comets continued to fight back.  

The Comets cut the lead down to one point several times, but the Belles managed to hang on.

Free throws, especially in the second half, ended up saving the day for the Belles. Despite shooting 1-3 from the free throw line in the first half, Saint Mary’s shot 13-15 in the second half.

Sophomore guard Maggie Ronan hit two clutch free throws near the end of the game to cushion Saint Mary’s lead to three points. 

Ronan led the Belles with a game- and career-high 18 points. Six of those points came from the free throw line as she shot a perfect 6-6.

Senior forward Anna Kammrath recorded her second straight double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds and sophomore forward Kelley Murphy added 12 points.

The Belles retake third place in the conference as they prepare to play at fourth place Adrian on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.