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SMC Basketball: SMC drops first conference game

Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Saint Mary’s lost at in-state rival Trine in a close 67-59 contest Wednesday night.

The Belles (2-5, 0-1 MIAA) struggled shooting from the floor as they suffered a loss in their conference-opener. Saint Mary’s did not hit its first shot from the floor until 8:34 into the first half. The shooting drought forced the Belles to play from behind the rest of the game. 

Saint Mary’s fought back though, as the lead was cut to eight points with nine minutes left in the first half. Despite the rally, the Thunder (5-0, 1-0) separated themselves from the Belles. Trine put together an 11-2 run near the end of the half and went up 33-19.

Early in the second half, the Belles cut the lead in half to seven points, but soon afterward, the Thunder extended the margin to 10.  Senior forward Jessica Centa gave a spark to Saint Mary’s late in the half, narrowing the lead to five points.

The Belles outshot the Thunder 65-43 and also had 10 less turnovers, but Trine shot 56 percent from the floor, while Saint Mary’s made just 31 percent of its shots. Senior guard Patsy Mahoney and sophomore guard Shanlynn Bias each led the Belles in scoring with 10 points apiece.

This weekend, the Belles will look to even up their conference record when they face Alma (1-4, 1-0). Alma is led by a pair of freshmen in guard Grace Wheeler and forward Morgan Henry. Alma may have a losing record, but that is largely due to a strong schedule featuring a number of schools in higher divisions as well as national-ranked teams intended to improve its quality of play.

Saint Mary’s will host Alma on Saturday at 3 p.m.