-

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

-

archive

SMC Basketball: Belles prepare to host No. 2 Calvin

A.J. Godeaux | Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Coming off a 73-58 loss to Albion, Saint Mary’s will look to right the ship with a tough home matchup Wednesday night against No. 2 Calvin.

The teams come into the game in the middle of two very different seasons. The Belles (5-17, 3-10 MIAA), have lost six straight and seem to be building for next year, giving their young roster some valuable experience. The Knights (19-1, 11-0), on the other hand, are riding an 18-game winning streak that has vaulted them up the national polls.

The competitors met almost two months ago on Dec. 15, and the Knights took home a 77-56 victory. When asked what needed to change from the teams’ first matchup, Belles coach Jenn Henley said her team needed to tighten its game at both ends of the floor.

“We need to cut down on turnovers and be more efficient on the offensive end of things,” she said.

In that first matchup, the Belles shot a paltry 38.7 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 24 times, which the Knights converted into 19 points. By contrast, the Belles only scored six points off of 19 Calvin turnovers.

Despite its turnover problem, Henley said the team’s focus during practice this week was primarily on defense.

“[We] have to keep teams off the free throw line,” Henley said. “The only way you do that is through better defense.”

The play of junior guard Shanlynn Bias has been one bright spot for the Belles during their losing streak. Bias has lead the team in scoring four of the past five games, putting up 15 points in three of those contests. She also led the Belles with 14 points in the first matchup with Calvin.

Despite Bias’ scoring surge, it will take a lot for the Belles to take down the Knights. Other than a five-point win against No. 4 Hope, the Knights’ closest conference game was a 22-point win against Alma.

Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Angela Athletic Center.

Contact A.J. Godeaux at agodeaux@nd.edu