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SMC Basketball: Belles earn No. 3 seed in playoffs

Tim Singler | Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Saint Mary’s earned the No. 3 seed in the MIAA playoffs and will play host to Albion in the first round.

The Belles are looking to build upon their two-game win streak to close out the regular season, winning their final two games by a combined total of 35 points.

The two teams last met Saturday when the Belles were able to keep their composure and handle the pressure from the Britons. But Saint Mary’s committed a number of fouls that led to easy points for Albion, but not enough as the Belles won 62-47.

“Tuesday’s rematch is going to be a battle,” Belles coach Jenn Henley said. “We are going to need to keep our fouls under control and keep Albion off the foul line.”

Not only will Saint Mary’s need to provide ample offensive firepower, but they also will need to step up on the defensive side of the ball as Albion has a few players who could pose as a real threat to the Belles.

“Albion is a good team,” Henley said. “They have some very good shooters who are able to take over a game at any point.”

Junior guard Melissa Shaw led the Britons with 13.9 points per game, playing a vital role in Albion’s guard play as she leads the team in assists and steals by a large margin for the season.

The Belles will need to come out ready to play against Albion in order to advance in the playoffs and a team can no longer expect to win without full energy on both offense and defense. The Britons are looking for an opportunity to upset Saint Mary’s on the Belles’ home court after losing at home Saturday.

“We are going to need to play more than just one half of solid defense as well as create second shots for us with offensive boards,” Henley said.

Belles senior Anna Kammrath has become a vital asset in grabbing rebounds as she recently set the Saint Mary’s career rebounding record, surpassing the previous mark of 830. Sophomore Kelley Murphy has been adding an average 7.2 rebounds per game as well for the Belles.

Saint Mary’s will take on Albion at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of MIAA playoff action in the Angela Athletic Center.