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SMC Basketball

Belles’ comeback bid falls short

| Monday, January 26, 2015

The Belles’ woes continued as they lost to conference opponent Alma 81-70 on the road Saturday night.

Both teams came out firing, and through just four minutes of play, Alma (7-11, 2-7 MIAA) held a slim 13-8 lead. But after a timeout, the Scots went on a 26-5 run and never looked back, leading the rest of the way.

Sophomore guard Timoney Moyer shoots a free throw during a 95-68 loss to Calvin at the Angela  Athletic Facility on Jan. 15, 2014.Caroline Genco | The Observer

Sophomore guard Timoney Moyer shoots a free throw during a 95-68 loss to Calvin at the Angela Athletic Facility on Jan. 15, 2014.

While Saint Mary’s (3-15, 1-8) was able to scrap and score some points before the half, the Scots still held a comfortable 47-26 lead going into halftime.

Both teams traded baskets for the first eight minutes of the second half until Saint Mary’s went on a little run of its own to bring the score to 60-49 with 10 minutes to go.

The Belles cut the deficit to eight twice in the final 10 minutes, but on each occasion, the Scots quickly stretched their lead back to double digits.

Despite the loss, Belles coach Jennifer Henley thought her team showed some improvements that could help the team down the stretch; Saint Mary’s outscored the Alma 44-34 in the second half, and other than the 26-5 run in the first half, the scoring went back and forth between the two teams throughout the game.

Going into the next game, Henley wants to see a full body of work from her team in order to get a win to turn the season around.

“We need to put two halves together and play 40 minutes of strong defense,” Henley said. “We played a great second half against Alma, but the damage was done in the first half. Regardless of who our next opponent is, we have to find a way to defend.”

Senior guard Ariana Paul led the Belles with a double-double, scoring 21 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in 32 minutes of play. The Belles shot well over 50 percent from the free-throw line, going 32-47; junior forward Eleni Shea’s 12-13 effort led Saint Mary’s from the charity strike.

The Belles (3-16, 1-9 MIAA) return to action tomorrow when they host Trine at the Angela Athletic Facility; tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.

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