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SMC Basketball: Belles end losing streak

Joe Meixell | Thursday, February 17, 2005

Desperately needing a win, Saint Mary’s delivered Wednesday night in a crucial conference road game. The Belles defeated Kalamazoo 58-50, ending a five-game losing streak.

Saint Mary’s jumped on the Hornets early, taking a 32-19 advantage into the locker room. Unlike past games, the Belles refused to let their lead slip away in the second half.

Senior forward Emily Creachbaum led Saint Mary’s with 10 points and eight rebounds. Point guard Bridget Lipke turned in an impressive performance. The sophomore scored 14 points, six above her season average.

The Belles prevailed despite a dominant performance from one of the conference’s premier players, Kalamazoo’s Ashley Riley. Riley had 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the losing effort.

Coming into the game, Saint Mary’s stressed the importance of controlling the boards.

“We have been getting out rebounded the past few games and that has been a key factor,” guard Bridget Boyce said.

The Belles reversed that trend Wednesday. Saint Mary’s had 41 rebounds to Kalamazoo’s 32. The Belles grabbed 12 offensive rebounds, doubling the Hornets’ six offensive boards.

With the win, Saint Mary’s moves into a tie for sixth place with Kalamazoo in the conference standings. The Belles, however, own the tie-breaker, having beaten the Hornets twice on the season.

Saint Mary’s controls its own destiny with just one game to play. With a win Saturday at home against last place Olivet, the Belles will finish sixth in the MIAA. If Saint Mary’s loses, it will need Alma to beat the Hornets Saturday to maintain control of the sixth spot.