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Belles prepare for Albion

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Saint Mary’s will look to avenge its Jan. 17 overtime loss to Albion at 7:30 tonight at the Angela Athletic Center.

Since that loss, the Belles are 5-1 and have worked their way to third in the MIAA with a 10-11 overall record and a 9-5 league mark.

Albion, which is riding a two game winning streak, is 13-9 and 8-6, respectively.

“We definitely have our hands full. They are a good team and they’re on a roll,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said. “We’re going to try to win the boards and limit their second chance opportunities.”

In its last meeting with Saint Mary’s, Albion had a balanced offensive attack that showcased four double-digit scoring efforts. Three starters had 11 or more points, including junior forward Jessica Babcock, who scored 19. Sophomore forward Kati Till added 14 points off the bench.

The Britons out-rebounded the Belles and shot a higher percentage from the floor en route to a 72-69 victory.

“Babcock’s a lot like [Belles guard Alison] Kessler. She will always get her points. We need to keep her below her average and limit the rest of the team,” Henley said.

Kessler had one of her best games on the season in the loss to the Britons. She was 12-of-22 from the floor with 31 points, four steals and three assists. Senior guard Bridget Lipke had a solid game with 12 points and 10 assists and freshman forward Anna Kammrath pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.

Albion has continued its winning ways since the last meeting, and the Belles had already matured by the time they first faced Albion. The Belles had a strong, balanced performance in their last game against Albion so the “we’ve improved since then” pep talk that has worked for Henley all year does not apply.

Regardless, Henley said Saint Mary’s should enter this game with confidence knowing it played Albion close in their last meeting and this time it has home court advantage.

“We haven’t played well our last two games and we need to get back on track,” she said. “It will be nice to have a game at home because we have played well at home all year.”