-

The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

-

archive

SMC Basketball: Belles in another key MIAA match

Allan Joseph | Friday, February 5, 2010

Saint Mary’s looks to notch another key late-season win over conference foe Kalamazoo when it visits Saturday afternoon. The Belles will hope to stay above .500 in conference play and stay in third place in the MIAA with only three conference games left after this weekend.
 

Saint Mary’s (11-9, 6-6 MIAA) will not look past the Hornets (1-17, 1-11 MIAA) despite Kalamazoo’s spot in the conference cellar.
 

“When you get into February, every game is a tough game,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said. “Kalamazoo is a much improved team. They played us tough at their place back in January.”
 

The Hornets are led by senior forward Nyemade Cooper, who averages 9.6 points per game and six rebounds per game. Another leader for Kalamazoo is junior guard Courtney Kaplan, who averages nine points per game. Kalamazoo’s backcourt is augmented by senior guard Briana Hendrix, who scores 7.7 points per game.
 

Senior forward Anna Kammrath will go up against Cooper in the paint for Saint Mary’s, while junior guard Liz Wade and sophomore guard Patsy Mahoney will battle the Hornet frontcourt. Sophomore forward Kelley Murphy will also be called upon to deliver one of her typically strong all-around games. As a team, the Belles will hope to put forth a tougher, more consistent defensive effort during this game, Henley said.
 

“The biggest challenge we have from this point forward is to continue improving our team defense for an entire game,” she said.
 

Saint Mary’s is currently tied for third in the MIAA with Trine (11-10, 6-6 MIAA), who faces Adrian Saturday. A Belle win would ensure that Saint Mary’s retains at least a share of third place, while a loss could mean that the Belles drop into a tie for fourth place, a crucial difference in the last few games before the conference tournament.
 

The game will be preceded by the Saint Mary’s Alumnae game, which takes place every two years.
 

The Belles and Hornets meet in a vital late-season matchup at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Angela Athletic Facility.