Knapke, Shea reach 1,000-point mark against Trine
Dominic Iannelli | Friday, February 5, 2016
Saint Mary’s lost its 12th straight contest Wednesday night at home to Trine, 68-51, but watched two milestone moments for the program happen along the way.
Despite the loss, the Belles (1-20, 1-11 MIAA) had something to celebrate: senior forwards and team captains Krista Knapke and Eleni Shea scored their 1,000th career points against the Thunder (13-7, 6-6 MIAA).
Knapke and Shea join an elite group of only 13 Belles all-time to reach the 1,000-point benchmark. Shea led the way with a team-high 20 points while Knapke scored nine.
Knapke described the significance of her 1,000th point after the game, and especially what it meant to achieve it with Shea, her friend and teammate.
“It is definitely an exciting accomplishment to reach 1,000 career points,” she explained. “It is also fun to be a part of the first time in Saint Mary’s history that two players reached 1,000 points in the same game.”
Although two seniors were able to have their names etched into the record books, the rest of the game did not go the way the Belles had hoped.
Saint Mary’s started out strong as it has many times this year, keeping close throughout the first quarter and finishing the quarter down just three, 19-16. The Thunder began to pull away in the second, reaching a 10-point lead twice in the quarter, but the Belles responded and cut the lead to single digits, entering the break down just eight points, 34-26.
The third quarter was slow for both teams, as they shot a combined 30 percent from the field. Trine was able to convert on 5 of 6 shots from the free throw line, however, and entered the fourth with a 13-point lead.
Saint Mary’s continued to fight in the fourth quarter, but their shooting struggles continued as they went more than three minutes without a field goal.
Knapke and Shea were both able to reach their 1,000th points within two minutes of one another later in the fourth, however, providing a bright spot for the Belles in the final quarter.
Shea said she’s starting to come to grips with the impending finish to her Saint Mary’s career, with the Belles officially eliminated from postseason play and only four games remaining in the regular season.
“It is beginning to set in that we only have a few games left, which is a really weird thing to encounter after playing basketball for most of my life,” Shea said. “It is definitely sad to think about my final season coming to an end, but I’ve had a great experience playing at Saint Mary’s these past four years, and I’ve been blessed with supportive and hardworking teammates who have made this experience so worthwhile. As we near the end of this season, it is important for us to keep working hard and finish strong as we complete the second round of conference play.”
The Belles are next in action at undefeated and top-ranked Hope on Saturday at 3 p.m.