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SMC Basketball

Knights shut down Belles en route to win

| Thursday, January 15, 2015

Saint Mary’s dropped a 92-52 decision to conference foe and No. 15 Calvin on Wednesday night in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Belles (3-12, 1-5 MIAA) took an early lead after the opening tip and led 7-4 with 15 minutes to go in the first half. Then, the Knights (13-0, 6-0) made defensive substitutions designed to put more pressure on the Saint Mary’s attack. The added pressure resulted in several turnovers, which the Knights capitalized on in their next few possessions. The Knights went on a 17-0 run to take a 21-7 lead and never looked back.

“There are a lot of things we need to work on,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said after the game. “We had 32 turnovers and at least half were not forced. Our decision making hurt us.”

Some of the key contributors for the Belles on Wednesday night were junior forward Eleni Shea, senior guard Ariana Paul, junior forward Krista Knapke and junior guard Maddie Kohler. Shea led the Belles with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Paul added 13 points, five steals and five rebounds. Knapke had six points and three steals, and Kohler had five points and three steals.

“I thought we had good moments of basketball, but couldn’t put it all together,” Henley said. We lost the battle on the boards and allowed their bench to dominate the game.”

Calvin had 44 points in the paint and 40 points off turnovers, while Saint Mary’s had 24 in the paint and 21 off turnovers. The Knights’ bench added 62 points, while the Belles’ non-starters only added 12.

“We need to learn from [Wednesday] night and start preparing for Albion on Saturday,” Henley said.

The Belles play Calvin again at home Feb. 14. Before then, the Belles’ next game is Saturday at 3 p.m. against conference opponent Albion at the Angela Athletic Facility.

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