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



SMC Basketball: Saint Mary’s looks to restore winning ways

Joe Wirth | Monday, December 6, 2010

Saint Mary’s will look to rebound from Saturday night’s loss to MIAA rival Calvin when the Belles take on Olivet Tuesday night.

The contest against the Comets will be the Belles’ second conference game and their first on the road. Although Olivet (3-6, 1-0 MIAA) has struggled early in the season, the squad won its conference opener against Adrian on Saturday.

The Comets also boast one of the best guard-forward combinations in the MIAA. Junior guard Debbie Nikodemski captains the offense out of the backcourt, and she leads the team with 11 points per game. She registered a season-high 16 points against Aquinasearlier this season.

The second half of the one-two punch is junior forward Alysia Cole, who nearly averages a double-double with 9.6 points per game and a team-high 10.1 rebounds per game. In a game earlier this year against Cornerstone, the talented post player grabbed a season-high 20 rebounds.

Searching for their first conference win, the Belles (5-2, 0-1) will look to control the glass and prevent second-chance opportunities.

Saint Mary’s comes into this game with a balanced scoring attack. With the combination of junior forwards Kelley Murphy and Jessica Centa down low and junior guards Patsy Mahoney and Maggie Ronan up top, the Belles feature four players averaging double-digit points per game.

Centa and Murphy will be tasked with keeping Cole off the boards as the leading rebounders on the team. Centa is averaging 5.5 rebounds per game, while Murphy leads the team with 9.3 boards per game.

The Belles won their first four matchups of the season over Wheaton, Aurora, North Central, and Anderson, winning the North Central Tourament. The Belles also participated in the Thomas More Tourament.

Saint Mary’s has since dropped two of their last three, dropping contests to Wilmington and Calvin.

Tipoff between the Belles and Comets is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Olivet, Mich.