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SMC Basketball: Belles drop game to Olivet

Griffin Dassatti | Thursday, January 31, 2008

Despite all five starters scoring in double figures, Saint Mary’s skid continued Wednesday when the Belles lost 80-70 at Olivet.Coming off back-to-back conference losses to Calvin and Hope, Saint Mary’s (8-10, 4-6 MIAA) entered the game needing a win to get back on track in the MIAA. The first half looked promising, especially when two free-throws by junior guard Katie Rashid pushed the Saint Mary’s lead to 21-13 with 10:13 left in the first half. But Olivet chipped away at the lead, and the Belles clung to a 33-31 lead at halftime.The Comets tied the score at 42 on a 3-pointer by sophomore guard Nykole Pfaff and followed that up with another trey, this time by junior guard Sarah Mangold with 13:57 to go in the game. Olivet got up by as many as six, at 55-49, with 10:15 to play.Twice the Belles cut the margin to just a single point – first on a Kammrath layup with 7:28 left to make the score 57-56, and later on a Newsom three to bring the score to 62-61 with 6:05 left. But the Comets scored 15 of the game’s next 17 points to open up an insurmountable lead. Olivet hit its free throws down the stretch to keep the Belles at bay until the final buzzer.As a group, the Belles’ starters had their best offensive output of the season. Junior guard Meghan Conaty led all scorers with 17 points, including 14 in the first half. Close behind Conaty were guard Alison Kessler with 15, sophomore forward Anna Kammrath with 14, junior forward Erin Newsom with 13, and Rashid with 11. Kammrath and Newsom also came up big on the boards, pulling down 10 and nine rebounds, respectively.But no bench players from Saint Mary’s scored, and Olivet’s reserves totaled 32 points.With the win, the Comets moved to third place in the MIAA. Saint Mary’s fell to sixth.The Belles return to action Sunday at Adrian.