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SMC Basketball: Powerhouse Calvin crushes Saint Mary’s, 78-42

Ken Fowler | Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Seven minutes into the first half, the Belles trailed Calvin College by just a single point in the Calvin Fieldhouse. Maybe, just maybe, this would be the night the Belles got the monkey off their backs and beat the dreaded Knights.

But Saint Mary’s stayed with Calvin only for those first seven minutes. Then, the Knights went on a 19-2 run, and Calvin assured itself of its 22nd consecutive win over the Belles.

For the second straight year, the Knights crushed the Belles in the first round of the MIAA tournament, 78-42.

Calvin’s Kristen McDonald played spectacularly, scoring 20 points and dishing out seven assists. She finished the game just one assist short of tying the Knights’ single-season assist record of 148 assists. Her next opportunity to tie and break that record will come Thursday as the Knights visit Hope College in the league semifinals.

For the Belles, there will be no next game this season.

In the team’s final contest, Saint Mary’s did not play up to par.

The Belles hit one of seven 3-point attempts (a Bridget Boyce jumper early in the first half) and shot 22 percent (11-for-50) on the night.

Playing against a Calvin team that shoots over 44 percent on the season, that is a recipe for disaster.

The Belles, however, kept the game close at the outset with aggressive defense.

Bridget Boyce scored five of Saint Mary’s first seven points and finished with 12 on 5-for-15 shooting on the night.

In addition, Saint Mary’s forced seven Knight turnovers in the first 6:50, and the Belles contained Calvin’s standout duo of McDonald and Lisa Winkle well.

Then the two adjusted to Saint Mary’s double-teaming defense and began passing to the open shooter. This was when the Knights broke the game open. In a stretch of just five minutes during the 19-2 run, McDonald accumulated four assists and in the process softened up the Belles defense so the Knights could penetrate the visiting team’s defensive scheme.

That softening of the Belles zone was noticeable nowhere more than on the perimeter. Calvin hit 6-of-14 three-pointers (43 percent).

By halftime, the Knights had staked out a 37-24 lead. That lead would only grow in the final 20 minutes, as Calvin began the second half with a 12-4 run.

For the Knights, the sister tandem of Sarah and Lisa Winkle combined for 22 points and 16 rebounds. Lisa Winkle led with 16 points, and each grabbed eight rebounds.

As for the Belles, Katie Boyce scored eight in her last game. The 2003-04 MIAA Defensive Player of the Year led all Saint Mary’s seniors in scoring. Maureen Bush scored five, and Emily Creachbaum added two of her own.

One of the few bright spots for the Belles was their free-throw shooting.

Saint Mary’s hit 19 of 22 from the charity stripe, but in keeping with the storyline of this game, the Knights were even better – Calvin made 12 of 13.

The Belles finished the season 11-15 and 6-11 in the MIAA.

Saint Mary’s will return two starters next season.