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SMC Basketball: Belles defeat Tri-State behind Kessler, Howe

Joe Meixell | Monday, December 10, 2007

After winning the battles in the post and at the free throw line, Saint Mary’s got its first conference win of the season, beating MIAA rival Tri-State 82-68 on Friday.

Senior guard Alison Kessler, who finished the game with 23 points, seven assists and five steals, continued to fill her role as the Belles’ key performer. With the win, the team improved its overall record to 3-4 and its conference record to 1-1.

Looking at the box score, the game appeared relatively even. Saint Mary’s was 28-for-64 on field goals (44 percent), while Tri-State shot 27-for-63 (43 percent). Each team made seven 3-point field goals. The difference, however, was at the charity stripe, where the Belles went 19-for-22 while the Thunder shot 7-for-10.

While many of Saint Mary’s free throws came as a result of Tri-State trying to extend the game by fouling, it was apparent from early in the contest that the Belle’s had the game well in hand. They led the game for all but 3:18 and never trailed after taking a 15-14 lead with 11:55 left in the first half.

To the Belles’ credit, the dominance was a team effort. Three of Kessler’s fellow starters scored in double digits. Junior guard Kelly Rashid finished with 17 points and juniors Erin Newsom and Meghan Conaty each netted 12 apiece. The Thunder had two scorers in double figures, led by sophomore guard Sarah Howe’s 23 points.