SMC Basketball: Belles edge Albion to advance to MIAA second round
Allen Joseph | Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Saint Mary’s triumphed over Albion 61-59 in a game that was not decided until the last two possessions were in the books and earned a first-round MIAA tournament win.
The Britons jumped out to an early 10-6 lead from which the Belles quickly recovered and took a 16-12 lead. After a 13-0 Albion run the Belles fought back, but an Albion 3-pointer with 5 seconds left in the half extended the Briton advantage to 10 points.
The second half opened with each defense prevailing until Albion took their largest lead of the game at 34-22 3 minutes into the half. Saint Mary’s responded with a 12-2 run of their own that was capped by a dagger 3-pointer from sophomore guard Katie Sullivan.
Though Albion fought back to a 4-point advantage, the Belles were able to create another run, this time 14-2 to give Saint Mary’s a 48-40 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the game. Each team continued to reel off runs until the game was tied at 59 with about a minute left to go.
The Belles missed an opportunity to take a lead, but Albion could not capitalize, missing a shot that was rebounded by senior forward Anna Kammrath with 24 second left in the clash. Sophomore guard Patsy Mahoney took the ball on an end-to-end drive into the lane and banked the deciding layup in with 13 seconds left.
The Britons had a final opportunity to force overtime — or even win the game — but Saint Mary’s played solid defense, forcing the last Albion shot to clang harmlessly off the rim and sealing the Belles’ victory.
Sophomore forward Kelley Murphy paced Saint Mary’s with a 16-point, nine-rebound effort, while sophomore guard Maggie Ronan added 11 points and five assists on five-of-six shooting.
Kammrath’s biggest rebound was one of 10 on the night, all of which came in the pivotal second half.
Belles coach Jennifer Henley also earned her 100th career win in the victory, which placed the Belles into a second-round tournament game at No. 2 seed Calvin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.