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SMC Basketball: Belles fall to third in MIAA ranks

Allan Joseph | Monday, February 15, 2010

No. 4 Hope College vanquished Saint Mary’s 94-75 Saturday in a victory that guaranteed that the Flying Dutch would have a share of the conference championship and dropped the Belles into a tie for third.

Hope (22-10, 14-0 MIAA) jumped out to an early lead, but Saint Mary’s (12-11, 7-7 MIAA) kept it close in the early minutes. Up two, however, the Flying Dutch reeled off a 9-1 run in three minutes to extend their lead to 22-12. Though the Belles stopped that run, Hope came right back with another to take its advantage to 37-19.

As has been the Belles’ trademark, however, the Belles did not give up. Junior guard Liz Wade converted a steal into an assist of sophomore guard Maggie Ronan on a 3-point play, cutting the Flying Dutch advantage to 42-34 with 2:46 left in the first half. The Flying Dutch never let Saint Mary’s gain momentum from the play, however, closing out the half with 11 straight points to take a 53-35 halftime lead.

The second half was more of the same, with the Flying Dutch maintaining no less than a 19-point lead throughout the second period to close out their 63rd consecutive home win.

The Belles were led by sophomore forward Kelley Murphy’s double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, sophomore guard Patsy Mahoney’s 14-point performance, 11 points from sophomore forward Jessica Centa and 10 from Wade.

Wade added five steals, bringing her total to 91 on the season, surpassing the previous school single-season record of 90, which has stood for over a decade.

Hope was led by a 16-point, six-rebound effort from junior center Carrie Snikkers.

Freshman guard Liz Ellis also added 16 to the Flying Dutch’s total, while senior swing player Philana Greene chipped in 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and six steals in a fantastic all-around performance.

The Belles will have their home finale Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Olivet as they try to hold on to third place in the conference. The game will also be Senior Recognition Night for the team’s lone senior, forward Anna Kammrath, as well as the team’s Pink Week in which they help raise money for breast cancer research.