SMC Basketball: Poor shooting doom Belles
Observer Staff Report | Thursday, February 7, 2013
After a disappointing start to the first half, the Belles failed to recover and suffered their seventh loss in a row as they fell to Calvin 84-54 on Wednesday night.
Facing Calvin (20-1, 12-0 MIAA) hasn’t been easy for anyone this year, and after a 34-8 run by Calvin to start the game, Saint Mary’s (5-18, 3-11) became the first-place Knights’ twentieth victim of the season.
Following that start, however, the Belles nearly matched the Knights by scoring 46 points to Calvin’s 50 the rest of the way.
Saint Mary’s suffered from a 19-for-57 effort from the field and 68 percent shooting from the free throw line, issues which Belles coach Jennifer Henley has consistently emphasized as areas in need of improvement throughout the season.
The difference was the bench play of these teams, as Calvin’s bench poured in 45 points while the Saint Mary’s reserves scored just 18 of their own.
The Belles, however, turned in a strong effort defensively. Junior guard Shanlynn Bias led the defensive effort with six steals to contribute to the Belles’ 22 turnovers generated. Off those turnovers, the Belles scored 15 points in transition.
Saint Mary’s is back in action Saturday when it takes on Alma. The Belles will try again to shake their losing streak against the Scots (7-15, 5-8). Like the Belles, Alma is looking for a win, having lost four straight. In those games, Alma has lost by an average score of 76-52.
Despite its fourth-place ranking in the MIAA, this is Alma’s fourth streak of three or more losses this season. Overall, four of the Scots’ seven wins came in January. Alma knocked off the Belles 67-61 on Dec. 8.
In that game, the Scots had four different players in double figures, with two scoring career highs. Alma sophomore guard Mallory Pruett scored 19 points and senior guard Stephanie Faller added 10 of her own. For the Belles, sophomore forward Ariana Paul, who is currently abroad, was the team’s leading scorer and rebounder in that matchup with 21 points and 11 boards.
Freshman forward, Krista Knapke will try to fill Paul’s void Saturday and continue her successful season, in which she has averaged nine points and nearly six rebounds per game. Bias will look to rebound from her four-for-17 shooting performance against Calvin.
The Belles will head to Alma to face the Scots on Saturday at 3 p.m.