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Belles hope to knock off Tri-State once more

Steve Coyer | Friday, January 23, 2004

In a thrilling overtime game, the Belles outlasted Tri-State University in a 66-64 victory nearly a month ago. But even though it happened a month ago, the Belles would love to repeat the outcome this weekend.With a demoralizing 65-61 loss to Kalamazoo this week, the Belles (4-12) have extended their losing streak to seven games and their conference record to 0-6. This Saturday the Belles will face Tri-State University (1-16), a non-conference opponent that was the last team that the Belles defeated before their losing streak began. The losing streak has been very frustrating for the Belles, particularly in their past few games. Turnovers and inconsistent play were to blame for the Belles’ losses early in the streak, but recently the team has played nearly mistake-free basketball. In a 70-67 loss to Alma last week, the Belles committed only seven turnovers.After two close losses against Alma and Kalamazoo, the Belles still feel confident that their level of play is high enough to win games. The problem is that playing at a competitive level has made for closer games but not victories.Forward Emily Creachbaum has been the leading scorer for the Belles this season, but overall team scoring has been very spread out. Eight players on the team average more than 20 minutes each game and this depth has been a positive all season. Despite being 1-9 in their last 10 games and facing recent disappointing losses, the Belles are far from giving up. “We are ready to get on and get after it,” Belles coach Suzanne Bellina said after Wednesday’s 65-61 loss.The Belles play at home this Saturday against Tri-State University at 3 p.m.