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Belles split a pair in Roundball Tourney

Steve Coyer | Monday, December 8, 2003

As hosts of this weekend’s Roundball Tournament, the Belles expected to play confidently and face some difficult competition. Both predictions proved accurate.

After an 82-67 victory over Illinois College in the first round, the Belles met Washington University in the championship game. The Belles (3-4) put up a strong fight but fell 68-45 against ninth-ranked Washington (6-1).

The Belles looked strong in their first game right from the beginning. Their offense came alive and by halftime they had put Illinois behind 45-25.

“The starters got us off to a great beginning, which really set the tone for the rest of the team,” Belles coach Suzanne Bellina said. “It was one of those nights that we were able to distribute the ball very well.”

The momentum from the first game carried over to the championship as the Belles opened a quick lead against Washington.

“I was really proud of the way our women came ready for the game,” Bellina said. “We scored first and also had a series of great defensive stops to start the game.”

In response to momentarily trailing, Washington put together a 14-0 scoring drive on their way to a 34-24 halftime lead and the victory. Despite this, the Belles still played with confidence the entire game.

“We really hung tough through their runs in the first half,” Bellina said. “By keeping it close in the first half, we were able to come out with confidence in the second half.”

The Belles came out hitting their shots against Illinois and finished the game at 57 percent from the field and 46 percent from three point range. Forward Maureen Bush finished the game with 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting.

Washington put the lid on the Belles’ hot shooting and limited them to only 30 percent for the game.

Forward Emily Creachbaum led the Belles against Washington and managed to finish with 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting. No other player reached double figures for the Belles.

Against Illinois, the Belles were able to put together a true team effort as 14 players got in the game, with seven players seeing more than 17 minutes on the court.

Although not content with the outcome, the Belles are not overly disappointed about not winning the tournament.

“Obviously, you want to win your own tournament, so we were not satisfied with the end result,” Bellina said. “We still feel good about what this weekend did to help us prepare for the upcoming conference season.” 

The Belles will continue at home this Wednesday against Albion College.