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Belles ready to face MIAA rival Adrian

Chris Khorey | Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Following a tough stretch against the top teams in the conference and finding themselves on the losing end of three consecutive double-digit decisions, the Belles look to bounce back against the Adrian Bulldogs today.

The Belles are currently 9-12 on the year and 4-8 in the MIAA. With four games remaining, Saint Mary’s can finish the regular season with a winning record overall and the Belles can still finish .500 in conference. The Belles’ final four opponents are a combined 32-44 this season – a fact that could make the Saint Mary’s team optimistic.

“We ended the game on Saturday playing really well,” coach Suzanne Bellina said. “We have to find a high level to play at for the rest of the year.”

Even the current record is an improvement over last season’s 7-18 mark that included an abysmal 2-12 conference record. Bellina, however, is wary of complacency.

“We’ve definitely taken a step up, but a lot hinges on how we finish the season,” she said.

The Belles will begin their quest for a winning season tonight in Adrian, Mich. The Bulldogs come into this game in sixth place in the MIAA, one spot and one game behind Saint Mary’s.

Adrian has balanced scoring all year, but its most consistent players have been point guard Corri Helldober and forward Amanda Raisbuger. Forward Thera McCall has also stepped up, scoring 14 points in an 88-48 loss to Hope last week.

The Bulldogs had last weekend off, but with a winning season beyond their reach and with a 40-point blowout loss at the hands of the Flying Dutchwomen still fresh in their minds, Adrian may come out flat against the Belles.

Saint Mary’s will hope for continued outstanding play from senior center Maureen Bush. Since bursting on to the scene with a 31 point effort against Tri-State, Bush has become a force in the middle, averaging 15.7 points per game over a 10-game span.

Also key for the Belles should be senior guard Katie Boyce’s return from injury. Boyce scored six points against Hope in her return to action after a foot injury sidelined her for three weeks.

“It’s a huge plus. It helps our rotation and our defense, and she brings leadership,” Bellina said.