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SMC BASKETBALL: Belles look for MIAA wins before Christmas

Tim Kaiser | Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Saint Mary’s will take on Adrian College tonight in the Belles’ last home game of 2005. The Belles (1-5) are coming off of a narrow defeat to North Park University, and will look to get back on track with a win against the Lady Bulldogs (2-3).

The Belles know they beat themselves in their last game by shooting just 23 percent from the floor, and so are focusing more on improving their game in practice this week than on Adrian.

“We’re watching film tomorrow, about a half an hour before game,” said senior captain Bridget Boyce. “[All we] know [is] they tend to go to the basket more than shoot threes.”

The Belles will mostly be working on their inconsistencies from the past few games in order to put together a more complete game against Adrian.

“We’ve been playing really tentative on offense,” Boyce said. “We’re working on taking the ball to the basket, drawing contact and finishing shots. We’re a strong free throw shooting team – getting to the line is a benefit for us.”

Boyce said the team feels that it is not only improving on the physical aspects of the game, but pulling together as well.

“Having a younger team, it is an up-and-down season,” Boyce said. “We’ve really taken our mistakes to heart and learned from them. We’ve gotten better from more experience, and now we’re taking things in stride, working more as a unit.”

After tonight’s game, Saint Mary’s will hit the road for its last game before Christmas, making the four and a half hour bus trip to play Alma College in Michigan. Despite the long ride, the team is looking forward to the trip.

“Yeah, it’s four and half hours,” Boyce said, “but we’ve done better away. Actually, we really don’t mind [traveling]. We traveled six [hours] to Hanover, and we traveled really well. We have a really good time on the bus, we don’t dread it.”

After Alma, the players have Christmas to look forward to.

“Definitely the freshmen, as well as upperclassmen but especially freshmen, are looking forward to spending time with families,” Boyce said. “We have a few practices during finals, then a week to a week and a half off, and then on the 26th, we go to the Clark Tournament in Iowa. Then we get New Year’s off, and a few days after that.”

But the Belles won’t let Christmas or finals distract them from their game. They feel they are prepared and ready to win.

“Our focus is taking the ball to the basket, and playing as a team,” Boyce said. “[We’ve got to] come in strong, from warm up, and carry it though the first and second halves to win this game.”