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SMC Basketball: Belles set to break two records

Matt DeFranks | Tuesday, February 15, 2011

With a 68-59 win at Albion (12-11, 10-4 MIAA) Saturday, the Belles (16-7, 9-5) are just one victory away from tying a school record for wins in a season.

In addition to breaking the 2008-09 Belles’ wins record, this year’s squad is also on pace to break that team’s record for made free throws in a season. The current Belles team leads the MIAA with 482 made free throws, just two shy of the Saint Mary’s record.

“We have never set out to set or break records like that,” Belles coach Jenn Henley said. “We just work on improving each and every game.”

Saint Mary’s shot 24-for-34 from the free throw line, compared to the Britons’ 6-for-13. Freshman forward Domini Paradiso led the Belles from the charity stripe with a 9-for-12 effort. Paradiso also finished with her first career double-double, registering 13 points and career-high 13 rebounds, 11 of which came off the offensive glass.

Paradiso was one of five Belles who scored in double figures, continuing Saint Mary’s balanced scoring trend. The Belles have four players averaging over 10 points per game and have three of the top seven scorers in the conference.

“Much of our success this season is due to the fact we are well balanced,” Henley said. “We have a lot of different weapons on offense and our team is very unselfish.”

Junior forward Kelley Murphy led the Belles, scoring 14 points, capping her 52nd career game with 10 or more points. Albion junior forward Patty Rewa led all scorers with 20 points.

During the second half, the Belles broke open a close game that included 10 lead changes and eight ties with a decisive 24-3 run. Saint Mary’s held the Britons to 1-for-7 shooting while forcing eight turnovers during an 11:29 stretch.

“At times, our defense can be really great,” Henley said. “We just need to be consistent on defense.”

With the win, the Belles now trail third-place Albion by only one game in the MIAA standings with two conference games remaining before the conference tournament begins.

“At this point in the season, we just want to be playing our best basketball as we prepare to finish out the regular season and head into MIAA Tournament play,” Henley said.

“We are happy to start the tournament by hosting the first round of play.”

The Belles finish their regular season home slate when they return to Angela Athletic Facility Wednesday to play Adrian (7-15, 4-11).