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SMC Basketball:Belles look to prove themselves

Allan Joseph | Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Belles face Wheaton College tonight in a non-conference match-up in which they will be looking to exact a measure of revenge for an early-season loss.

Saint Mary’s (12-9, 7-6 MIAA) took on the Thunder (12-9, 6-5 CCIW) in what was both teams’ second regular-season game on Nov. 20 at the Bluffton University Tip-Off Tournament. The game was tied at 73 before Wheaton broke through for a 78-73 win.

The first meeting was characterized by an intense battle between the two teams. They switched the lead 13 times and were tied at 12 different points in the game, including at the half.

Neither team was able to gain more than an eight-point advantage at any time. The Thunder were led in that game by a breakout performance from freshman guard Breanna Bohlen, who scored 24 points as well as chalking up seven rebounds and three assists off the bench while sophomore forward Elisabeth Potts added 11 points.

“We let [that game] slip away,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said.

Wheaton sophomore guard Lindsey Brenneman leads the Thunder overall, averaging 13.6 points per game. Bohlen is second among active players, averaging nine points per game. In the frontcourt, junior forward and captain Annie Bowen will look to establish herself in the paint.

Saint Mary’s will depend on sophomore guard Patsy Mahoney and junior guard Liz Wade to defend the powerful Wheaton backcourt, and to junior forward Jessica Centa and senior forward Anna Kammrath for a presence at the post. The Belles are expecting a tough offensive threat from the Thunder.

“Wheaton is a very good team,” Henley said. “They are very well coached and have some great shooters.”

Despite the scheduling of this non-conference game in the middle of the MIA homestretch and only two days before a trip to league-leading Hope, Henley does not see the game as a distraction. Instead, she sees it as a positive for her team.

“This is our bye week during the conference,” she said. “It’s nice to have a game to stay on schedule rather than be off an entire week.”

Saint Mary’s looks to avenge its early loss to Wheaton at 7 p.m. tonight in the Angela Athletic Facility.