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SMC Basketball: Wade and Sadowski star in last home game

Matthew DeFranks | Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On Senior Day, it was seniors Liz Wade and Grace Sadowski who did the starting — and the finishing — during Saint Mary’s 68-57 win over Trine on Saturday afternoon at Angela Athletic Facility.

While Wade has started every game this season, Sadowski appeared in the starting line-up for the first time this year, and she made it count. Sadowski scored four of the game’s opening six points, helping the Belles (15-7, 8-5 MIAA) to an early 13-4 lead on the Thunder (7-14, 5-8). Both Sadwoski and Wade finished the game on the floor and recorded seven and five points, respectively.

“Grace [Sadowski] got us going right away,” Belles coach Jenn Henley. “We got some good looks early but we just weren’t shooting very well in the first half. I give credit to

Grace for getting us started right off the bat there.”

Helped out by junior forward Jessica Centa’s eight points and an eight rebound advantage over Trine, the Belles held a 30-24 lead at the half.

After Trine junior guard Danielle Senf, who scored a team-high 11 points, knocked down a 3-pointer with 17:55 left, the Thunder trailed 35-29.

The Belles, however, behind the strength of a staunch 2-3 zone defense, responded with a decisive 20-4 run that stretched the lead to a game-high 22 points. Saint Mary’s junior forward Kelley Murphy scored six of her game-high 16 points during the stretch.

“We wanted all our points to come from the paint and attack a little more,” Henley said. “That definitely seemed to work for us.”

The run, which lasted 7:12, contained two separate 8-0 spurts by the Belles and saw Trine shoot just 1-for-7 from the field and commit four turnovers.

“We’ve been playing around with [the 2-3 zone] the last few weeks. Our kids talk a lot more defensively when we’re in that,” Henley said. “They like to play it, so that’s half the battle.”

Saint Mary’s outrebounded Trine 45-28 and pulled down 21 offensive rebounds, leading to a 15-point edge in second chance points and a 14-point advantage in points in the paint. Seven different Belles notched an offensive rebound, including all five starters.

“That’s one of the things we’ve been working on all season long,” Henley said. “We had the height advantage on this team. Our kids are playing really well and good things are happening, especially on the boards.”

Saint Mary’s will next look to gain ground in the MIAA standings with a road contest against Albion (11-10, 9-3) on Saturday at 3 p.m.