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Belles rung, suffer home loss

Bobby Griffin | Thursday, February 5, 2004

Following the big win against Olivet, the Belles were looking to come out and steal a win from Calvin, a team that was 15-3 going into the game. Instead, they were handed their worst loss of the season.

In a crushing 65-42 loss, the Belles were outplayed on both sides of the ball and looked like they didn’t belong on the same court as the overpowering Knights.

Calvin got off to hot start, outscoring the Belles 18-3 to start the game. Saint Mary’s never fully recovered, going into the half down 36-18. The Belles did, however, manage to keep up with Calvin in the second half, being outscored 29-24 en route to the 23-point loss. Only other time this season, in a 68-45 loss to Washington, the Belles were outscored by 23 points.

“We were expecting them to transition like they did last time,” senior guard Katie Miller said. “We knew they were going to be a quick team, and they were.”

Calvin forced the Belles into transition defense much of the first half, pushing the ball up court quickly off rebounds. The Belles responded by attempting to keep up in the quick tempo game, and they were much less successful.

Calvin shot 42 percent from the floor in the win, while Saint Mary’s shot just 27 percent. The statistic fails to tell the whole story, as Saint Mary’s was bullied on offense, unable to get good looks on many of their possessions down court.

Guard Kristen McDonald led the way for Calvin, scoring 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting and adding five assists. Lesa Holleman and Lisa Winkle complemented McDonald on the offensive end, contributing 11 and 10 points, respectively.

“We just weren’t stopping their penetration – they were getting easy lay-ups,” said Miller.

For Saint Mary’s, three players scored nine points: Bridget Lipke, Maureen Bush and Bridget Boyce. Lipke added four rebounds for the Belles in 22 minutes.

Following the game, Belles coach Susan Bellina would not comment on the loss. Her Belles fell to 6-14 on the year and 1-8 in MIAA play.

For Saint Mary’s, turnovers have been an on-and-off problem all year. In the contest with Calvin, this problem showed its ugly head as the Belles committed 23 turnovers to their 11 assists.

“Offensively, it seemed like we had a lot of turnovers,” Miller said. “We just weren’t getting our game together, we weren’t playing together as a team.”

Saint Mary’s will travel to Hope this weekend, for a Saturday afternoon match-up with the Flying Dutch, who are currently first in the MIAA. Hope is one of two teams this year to beat Calvin, so the Belles should have their hands full.

“We just need to play together, that’s all there is to it,” Miller said. “We need to come out, be strong, win and have confidence in ourselves. We seem like we go on highs, and then we go on lows.”