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SMC Basketball: Belles look to snap streak

Allan Joseph | Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Saint Mary’s will look to break out of a four-game losing streak and regain third place in the MIAA when it hosts Adrian tonight in a crucial conference clash.
The Belles (10-9, 5-6) sit a half-game behind the Bulldogs, a team Saint Mary’s has already defeated by 10 points. In fact, that game was the Belles’ last victory, as they opened the second leg of conference play by dropping four straight games, including three by five points or less. Four teams — Adrian, Saint Mary’s, Olivet and Trine — have five conference wins. Hope and Calvin sit atop the conference with 10 wins, and tonight’s games include match-ups between Olivet and Trine and Hope and Calvin. A win tonight for the Belles would keep them in the upper half of the MIAA, while a loss would relegate them to an unfavorable seed in the conference tournament.
The Bulldogs are led by guards Jennifer Perrin and Anita Stamps, who each average 12 points per game.
“[They are] two very good guards,” Saint Mary’s coach Jennifer Henley said. “They have the ability to score anywhere on the floor.”
The Belles must guard forward Ashley McClarren as well, who averages just under nine points per game and “is physical and gets after the boards,” Henley said.
Sophomore forward Kelly Murphy and senior forward Anna Kammrath will be called upon to win the inside battle for Saint Mary’s, especially by rebounding on the defensive side of the floor to limit second chances for Adrian.
Sophomore guard Patsy Mahoney will assist junior guard Liz Wade — who has the third-most steals in Belles history — in guarding the Bulldog backcourt of Perrin and Stamps. Sophomore guard Maggie Ronan will also have to contribute on both ends of the floor to counter Adrian’s perimeter-based attack.
A win for the Belles tonight would give them momentum during the season’s home stretch and promises to be a gritty battle for points on every possession.
“The game will be about which team can play better defense,” Henley said.
Saint Mary’s hosts Adrian at 7:30 p.m. in the Angela Athletic Facility.