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SMC Basketball: Calvin crushes St. Mary’s

Bill Brink | Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Belles had momentum on their side, but not enough to push them past No. 3 Calvin Monday night as the Knights defeated Saint Mary’s 75-44 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Belles (9-11, 8-5 MIAA) trailed by eight points with 14:55 left in the first half, but a tip-in by Calvin forward Marcia Harris followed by a three-pointer by guard Nikki Zimmerman – who was 3-of-5 from 3-point range in the first half en route to 11 total points – jumpstarted Calvin’s offense.

The Knights never looked back.

“We came out flat,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said. “We didn’t step up to play. When you play Calvin you have to bring your best, and we didn’t do that tonight.”

The Belles trailed 34-21 after a first half in which the Knights (19-1, 12-0 MIAA) shot 48.6 percent from the field (41.7 percent from three-point range). Saint Mary’s forward Anna Kammrath was completely neutralized near the basket, grabbing only three rebounds and failing to score a point in the game.

“Calvin’s strength is their inside game, and they did a pretty good job of shutting down ours,” Henley said. “We didn’t show up.”

The Belles were out of the game in the second half, shooting just 19.4 percent. Henley attributed the poor shooting to slow ball movement and failure to attack the gaps.

“It’s not like we didn’t shoot the ball,” she said. “We just couldn’t get anything to fall.”

Calvin outscored Saint Mary’s by 18 points in the second half.

“We’ve been down like that in other situations,” Henley said. “We talked a lot about getting to the foul line in the second half, trying to play catch-up when the clock was stopped.”

Guard Alison Kessler was the high scorer on the night for Saint Mary’s with 16 points, and forward Erin Newsom led the team with 10 rebounds.

Harris led the Knights with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Forward Lisa Winkle had 13 rebounds.

The game marked the second-lowest point total for Saint Mary’s on the season. The Belles scored 42 points in a loss to Hope on Nov. 28.

The loss came after a two-day delay due to a blizzard in the Grand Rapids area. Henley hoped the delay had no effect on the game.

“I talked to the kids about it, but at this point in the season, it’s all mental,” she said. “You have to be ready to go. I would hope something like a delay that’s out of our control wouldn’t affect us.”

Despite the team’s lackluster play, Henley credited Calvin’s skill.

“You have to give Calvin credit,” she said. “They’re ranked [high] in the country for a reason.”