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SMC Basketball: Saint Mary’s drops games to Buena Vista, Wheaton

Observer Staff Report | Monday, November 25, 2013

 

The Belles went home empty-handed after two losses at the Beth Baker Classic on Friday and Saturday in Wheaton, Ill. 

The Belles (1-3) fell to Buena Vista 87-83 on Friday and came up short in a 74-51 loss to Wheaton on Saturday. 

Saint Mary’s had a solid tournament-opening appearance against Buena Vista (2-2) but came up just four points short after a late comeback attempt came up short. The Belles trailed by nine points with 2:12 remaining, but they could not capitalize on their efforts after making it a one-possession game in the closing minute. 

The Belles held the lead for significant time in the first half. Sophomore forward Sarah Macius gave the Belles an 18-9 lead with a three-pointer, and sophomore forward Eleni Shea helped the Belles secure their biggest lead of the game with a fast-break jumper with less than six minutes left in the first period to put the Belles up 31-20. 

The Belles closed the half with a 45-36 lead, but the Beavers entered the second half ready to redeem themselves. In the opening seven minutes of the half, Buena Vista outscored the Belles 20-9 and took a two-point 56-54 lead. 

Behind by nine points in the last three minutes, the Belles fought back. Saint Mary’s brought the game to a score of 84-81 with a minute to go. The Beavers secured a five-point cushion, but Belles sophomore forward Krista Knapke made a layup to make it 85-83 with 31 seconds left. However, the Beavers scored two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to make the final score 87-83. 

Shea had 15 points to lead the Belles, while Knapke added 13 points. Senior guard Shanlynn Bias scored 11 points and had a team-best three steals. Junior forward Ariana Paul contributed 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds. 

On the second day of the tournament, the Belles opened with a back-and-forth battle against host Wheaton (4-1), but again failed to capitalize in the second half. 

The Belles secured an immediate lead of 8-2 but found themselves soon tied 11-11 with 11:32 on the clock. The Thunder went on a 7-0 run to take away the Belles’ three-point lead with 7:14 remaining on the half. The Belles and Thunder traded the lead several times, but the Thunder ended the half with the upper hand, 30-27. 

After less than five minutes into the second half, the Thunder extened their lead to12 points. The Belles reacted by scoring four-straight points on a jumper by Bias and a pair of free throws by senior forward Katherine Wabler to bring the score to 43-35. 

Despite the Belles’ efforts in the last nine minutes of the game, the Thunder went on an 11-2 run to secure a 74-51 victory. 

Paul carried the Belles with 14 points, four assists, and three steals. Knapke and Bias each contributed eight points. Knapke also led the Belles with six rebounds.

The Belles move on to their home opener against Anderson on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m at the Angela Athletic Facility.