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Belles lose two close games over weekend

Steve Coyer | Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Disappointment may have defined the start of the Belles’ season, but improvement and optimism can also be included in that definition.

The Belles opened the Tip-Off Classic with a 68-65 loss to Hanover. In the tournament’s second game, the Belles fell 55-44 in a defensive struggle against Franklin. Both games were significantly closer than those in previous years, despite the losing outcome.

“We were much closer this year against Franklin and Hanover, but we’re still disappointed,” head coach Suzanne Bellina said. “If we had shot the ball better, we probably would’ve beat Hanover.”

Poor shooting was the deciding factor against the team in both games. Against Hanover, the Belles shot 31.4 percent while allowing their opponents to shoot 47 percent in the first half. In the second game, Franklin held the Belles to 30 percent shooting.

“I don’t know what happened,” junior center Emily Creachbaum said. “Our shots were off all weekend, and we couldn’t get it going.”

Creachbaum had an impressive first game with 18 points and seven rebounds to lead the team. Sophomore guard Bridget Boyce also contributed with 16 points and six rebounds.

The Belles came back from a 38-30 halftime deficit against Hanover but couldn’t close the gap fast enough. Being 2-20 from three-point range didn’t help the Belles in their comeback effort.

“It was a back and forth game, but it’s going to be tough for us to win in those situations if we can’t shoot better,” Bellina said.

The Belles’ shooting woes carried over into their next game. Franklin only shot 34 percent from the field but they also forced 18 turnovers. The Belles shot 30 percent, and freshman forward Anne Hogan was the only player to score in double digits with 11 points.

Despite their problems on offense, the team’s overall improved defense has been a source of optimism.

“We’re setting high expectations this year, and we still have a positive outlook on the season,” Creachbaum said. “We should’ve made some more shots last game, but our defense has really stepped it up.”

The Belles begin the season 0-2, but the team is far from panicking. With a 6-20 record last year, they’re eager to improve wherever they can.

“The freshmen on the team really played with heart and intensity this weekend, and the juniors have been there to keep the team together,” Bellina said. “I think we have the ingredients to turn things around this season.”