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SMC Basketball: Belles come up short in both games of holiday tournament

Nick Boyle | Monday, November 28, 2011

After two close contests, the Belles emerged without a victory in the Ohio Northern Thanksgiving Classic in Ada, Ohio. They fell to Ohio Northern 68-64 Saturday and to Otterbein 74-65 Sunday.

In Saturday’s contest, Ohio Northern (5-1) jumped out to an early 10-point lead only six minutes into the game. The Belles (2-4) battled back strong and scored on consecutive possessions to make it a one-point game at the half.

In a back-and-forth second half, the Polar Bears took their largest lead of the game on a jump shot by sophomore forward Cenzie Yoder with 6:41 remaining, giving the tournament hosts a 62-47 lead.

Saint Mary’s did their best to fight back and went on a 17-4 run capped by senior guard Patsy Mahoney’s three-pointer with 35 seconds remaining on the clock to pull the Belles four points from the lead. Mahoney put up 20 points and six assists.

Unfortunately for the Belles, time ran out on their comeback for a four-point Ohio Northern victory.

Along with Mahoney, The Belles senior class led scoring. Senior forwards Kelley Murphy and Jessica Centa brought in 16 points and 10 points, respectively. Classmate and starting guard Maggie Ronan scored 14 points against the Polar Bears.

“As a team we come into every game expecting to win, so the losses this past weekend were tough,” Mahoney said. “We know we are playing some very tough competition though, so we are learning from what we have done thus far and making ourselves better from it.”

Saint Mary’s gained an early lead against Otterbein (4-0) on Sunday, going up 23-13 with seven minutes left in the half on a layup from Murphy who scored 14 points and had 12 rebounds before the clock ran out. The Cardinals fought back and closed the half on an 11-4 run, cutting the Belles’ lead to two.

The second half was tightly contested as the lead change four times between the teams. The Cardinals took the lead for good with 7:20 left in the game when they went up 56-55 on a field goal from Otterbein junior forward Rachel Snedegar. Otterbein closed the game on a 19-10 run, and Saint Mary’s went home without a win.

Along with Murphy’s double-double, Ronan matched Mahoney’s points with 18 against the Cardinals.

“Moving into conference play we know what we need to do to win games and we are working hard to fix our problems,” Mahoney said. “We just have to execute on both ends of the floor to get the results we know we can.”

Saint Mary’s next opens up conference play against Trine on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at home.



Contact Nick Boyle at nboyle1@nd.edu