The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



SMC BASKETBALL: Deep Belles drain Lake Mich. squad

Joe Meixell | Monday, November 14, 2005

Saint Mary’s has been preparing for its first regular season game for a few weeks now, and judging from the Belles’ performance in their second and final scrimmage before next weekend’s Hanover Tip-Off Classic, they are ready.

The Belles traveled to Lake Michigan College Friday night and dominated the Lady Indians on their own court. Saint Mary’s built an early lead and didn’t let up, staying ahead for the remainder of the game in a 69-40 victory.

This was the Belles’ first conventional contest of the year, after playing a three-half scrimmage against Bethel College Nov. 3.

Saint Mary’s added three new players last week in Benya Broderick, who returned from an injury, cross-country runner Erin Newsom and volleyball player Shelly Bender.

The Belles’ new depth was evident, as 12 of the 13 players on the roster scored points during the game. Alison Kessler led Saint Mary’s with 13 points against the Lady Indians.

Belles’ coach Steve Bender was thrilled with his team’s performance.

“I was very, very happy,” he said.

“You improve the most between your first and second games. It was good to see everyone in the fold. We had a lot more depth, and we were a lot better.”

Bender was glad to see improvement on both sides of the ball.

The coach also said he was impressed with his team’s athleticism and how well it played together, despite the absence of Broderick, Newsom and Bender in the first scrimmage.

“Defensively, we played so much better this game, and we had more confidence on offense,” Bender said. “Bethel made us aware of our weaknesses, but this game was a big confidence builder.”

Just as the team improved between its first scrimmage and the second, Bender hopes to see an even better performance from his team in its first regular season game when it travels to the Hanover Tip-Off Classic on Friday in Hanover, Ind. The Belles will play Hanover on Friday at 6 p.m. and Franklin on Saturday at 1 p.m.

In the meantime, Bender believes Saint Mary’s has work to do.

“Our biggest deficiency [against Lake Michigan] was rebounding,” Bender said. “We’ve got to get a lot more physical on the boards. We’ve got to develop more of a post presence, and pick up our intensity. Hanover and Franklin are going to come at us tough.”