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Belles look to knock off Hope

Steve Coyer | Friday, February 6, 2004

After a demoralizing 65-42 loss to Calvin (16-3) at home, the Belles will have little time to recover as they go on the road to play the best team in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Saturday the Belles (6-14) will face MIAA leader Hope (19-2).

The momentum from a critical win Monday against Olivet failed to carry over into Wednesday’s game against Calvin. Despite a second half comeback, the Belles only shot 27 percent from the field and the 36-18 halftime deficit proved to be too much to overcome.

In the Belles 67-64 victory against Tri-State Jan. 24, Emily Creachbaum led the team with 26 points. However, in the last three games, Creachbaum has scored a total of 16 points, 10 of those points coming in the win over Olivet.

As a result, the bench has taken a more active role with strong efforts from Bridget Lipke, Anne Hogan and Bridget Boyce.

Against Olivet, the bench combined to score 33 points. As a result, the bench players saw nearly as much floor time as the starting five.

The Belles have had a problem with turnovers when they have played aggressive teams this year. In their loss to Calvin, the Belles had 23 turnovers and had difficulty finding open shots.

Hope’s dominating offense will also provide a challenge for Saint Mary’s, averaging 73 points per game this year. Hope has also held opponents to 34 percent shooting.

On the other hand, the Belles’ offense has struggled this year and has averaged 58 points per game on 37 percent shooting.

Despite this, the Belles look to come away with an upset on Saturday.

“We just need to play together, that’s all there is to it,” guard Katie Miller said. “We need to come out strong, win and have confidence in ourselves.”

The Belles will play at Hope College Saturday at 3 p.m.