Belles set sights on rematch with Adrian
Kit Loughran | Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The Belles open up their second round of conference play Thursday with a home matchup against Adrian at Angela Athletic Facility at 7:30.
Saint Mary’s (5-12, 3-5 MIAA) faces Adrian (8-9, 4-5) for the second time this season. Adrian won 80-70 when the two teams met Jan. 29 and the Belles will look to avenge that loss with a second look at the Bulldogs.
“The last time we played Adrian we did not show up to play in the first half,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said. “We had a great second half effort, but we need to put 40 minutes together.”
Rebounding from a tough 70-68 loss to Olivet on Jan 22., the Belles have concentrated their efforts on their defense.
“Our focus continues to be defense,” Henley said. “We had a heartbreaking loss at Olivet last week as that game came down to a last-second shot.”
Sophomore guard Maddie Kohler tied the game against Olivet (16-2, 8-1) with a three-pointer in the last ten seconds, but the Belles’ defense could not stop Olivet from scoring a last-second layup to win the game. Henley said the Belles will try to adjust their defense to Adrian’s style of play.
“Adrian looks to run a lot,” Henley said. “We have to find a way to slow down their transition game.”
Like the Belles, Adrian recently lost to Olivet. The Bulldogs fell 71-59 to the Comets on Saturday. Senior guard Casey Fougerousse, who averages 7.1 points per game, led Adrian with sixteen points, while senior forward Amy Van Gessel scored thirteen points and had eight rebounds.
Though they lost to Adrian earlier this season, the Belles face the Bulldogs with more game-time experience this second time around. The loss to Olivet and the 67-64 overtime win against Albion on Jan. 18 were both strong tests for the Belles, Henley said.
“My team has certainly been tested the last couple of games,” Henley said. “I know those situations will certainly help us down the road.”
Lately, Kohler and two forwards, sophomore Krista Knapke, and junior Ariana Paul, have spurred the Belles’ scoring. Knapke led the Belles with 23 points against Olivet to bring her season average to 10.8 points per game. Paul added12 points against Olivet and averages 13.9 points per game.
The Belles take on Adrian on Thursday at Angela Athletic Facility at 7:30 p.m.