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SMC Basketball: Belles get big win on senior day

Fran Tolan | Monday, February 13, 2006

Led by senior captain Bridget Boyce, Saint Mary’s defeated Kalamazoo 57-54 on the team’s senior day Saturday.

It was the final home game for the Belles, who improved to 11-12 overall and 9-5 in the MIAA. Boyce seized the moment in her final regular-season contest at the Angela Athletic Center.

“[Boyce] put the entire team on her back,” Belles head coach Steve Bender said.

The shooting guard poured in 15 points and added seven rebounds and five assists. On the defensive end, Boyce held Kalamazoo’s Jen Layne – who scored 19 in a game against Saint Mary’s earlier this season – to just two points on 1-of-6 shooting.

“She really played the game of her life,” Bender said.

The Belles led 31-22 at halftime, but Kalamazoo fought back in the second frame.

The Hornets took a 37-36 lead with 13:50 remaining. The game was tied four times over the next eight minutes of action, as neither team could pull away.

Saint Mary’s held a 55-49 advantage with 2:03 left, but Kalamazoo scored the next four points to cut the deficit to two with 60 seconds remaining.

The Belles turned over the ball on the ensuing possession, and Kalamazoo’s Mary Brown drew a foul with 30 seconds left but connected on just one of two free throws. After two Saint Mary’s free throws increased the lead to 57-54 with 14 seconds on the clock. Kalamazoo’s Stephanie Anderson was unable to convert a three-point attempt as time expired.

With Saturday’s loss, Kalamazoo falls to 5-16 overall and 2-12 in MIAA league play. Brown led the Hornets with nineteen points.

Sophomore guard Alison Kessler, who had 11 points, was the only other Belle to score in double figures.