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SMC Baskteball: Saint Mary’s hopes to continute winning on the road

Joe Meixell | Friday, January 20, 2006

Coming off of their home win over Albion College Wednesday night, the Belles hope to beat Alma College on the road Saturday at 3 p.m.

One major part of the win on Wednesday that the Belles hope to continue was their strong defensive performance, as they held the Britons to 51 points with tight man-to-man defense. Head coach Steve Bender hopes his team will keep up their high intensity from the Albion game for the game at Alma.

“The most important part of our win was … our man-to-man defensive intensity,” Bender said.

Saint Mary’s should be in a good position to beat the Scots again Saturday if the team plays with the focus and intensity it displayed against Albion.

Saint Mary’s and Alma have met once before this season, a 74-68 win for the Belles on Dec. 10.

The Belles hope to combine aspects of the first Alma game and the Albion game to take the advantage this weekend.

Belles guard Bridget Boyce, who knocked down four shots from beyond the arc against Albion, will look to repeat her success from long range.

One possible problem the Belles might face is the loss of junior point guard Bridget Lipke, who suffered a leg injury in the second half of the Albion game. Lipke was on crutches at the end of the Wednesday night game, and is still questionable for this game.

But based on the play of sophomore Allison Kessler, who took over the game after the Lipke injury, the Belles should still be in the game.

“It was great that Allison was able to lead the offense so well after Bridget got hurt,” Bender said. “She has the heart of the champion.”

Despite the 7-10 overall mark, Saint Mary’s has posted a 5-3 league record. Alma, which has struggled against MIAA opponents to a 3-5 conference mark, will have to play its best to top the Belles.