Poor defense dooms Belles
Kit Loughran | Thursday, February 6, 2014
Saint Mary’s fell 87-53 on the road to Calvin on Wednesday.
The Belles (6-14, 4-7 MIAA) had a slow start from the beginning and could not break past the Knights (14-6, 9-3).
“We did not play solid defense in the first half,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said. “We missed a lot of shots in the paint that we don’t normally miss.”
The poor execution of offense, combined with a lack of defense, did not help the Belles, Henley said.
“When we have off nights on offense we have to play great defense, and that didn’t happen,” she said.
Sophomore forward Krista Knapke was the first to score for the Belles and was the Belles’ leading scorer with 11 points. Junior forward Ariana Paul, who had 10 points, led the team along with Knapke through the first half.
Despite the Belles’ efforts, the Knights led by 30, 52-22, at the end of the first period.
Saint Mary’s looked for a new start with the beginning of the second period. Henley said they played better in the second half.
Calvin was the first to score in the second period with a layup from junior forward Breanna Verkaik, and the Belles could avoid errors as they continued to miss shots and turn the ball over. The Knights had their largest lead of 42 points at the 10-minute mark of the second half.
With 1:55 left on the clock, sophomore forward Eleni Shea scored back-to-back jumpers, but Calvin still led by 33 points.
The Belles were 23-63 (36.5 percent) from the field, while Calvin shot 37-64 (57.8 percent).
The Belles will try to rebound against Kalamazoo.
“Moving forward, we need to prepare for Kalamazoo on Saturday,” Henley said. “I feel we match up well with them, but at the end of the day, we have to defend.”
The Belles take on Kalamazoo on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Anderson Athletic Center in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Contact Kit Loughran at email@example.com