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SMC Basketball: Belles break losing streak

Griffin Dassatti | Monday, February 4, 2008

Entering their game against Adrian after losing consecutive conference games to Calvin, Hope and Olivet, the Belles (9-10, 5-6 MIAA) needed a win. Thanks to a solid performance, they got it.

Saint Mary’s snapped its losing streak Saturday when it beat Adrian 61-51 on the road.

The first half was a back-and-forth contest, something the Belles have seen a lot of this season. Neither team could get much of a run during the opening half, and Adrian’s five-point lead with 2:52 left before halftime was as far apart as the teams got.

Despite shooting just 31.1 percent from the field in the first half – including 18.2 percent from beyond the arc, uncharacteristically low for a team that shoots 29.2 percent from 3-point range – the Belles entered the locker room down just 31-28. The team was unhappy with its performance, sophomore forward Anna Kammrath said.

“We were frustrated at the half,” Kammrath said. “We knew we should be [good] enough by now to cruise through the second half and we were not. We knew we should and would pull away.”

As if to answer Kammrath’s frustration, the Belles took the court with a renewed energy, starting the second half on a 12-4 run. Still, the Bulldogs would not go away quietly and kept within six – until Saint Mary’s guard Katie Rashid decided it was time to turn it up a notch.

The junior went on a tear, scoring eight points as part of a 10-2 Saint Mary’s run and helping give the Belles a 55-41 lead with 8:09 left in the game. While Rashid accounted for all but two of the team’s points during the stretch, Kammrath said she wasn’t the only reason Saint Mary’s took the lead for good.

“Our defense made them make the mistakes they did,” Kammrath said. “We were able to capitalize on their turnovers. We stopped making little mistakes, too, and we finally hit the shots we weren’t making in the first half.”

Kammrath was right to credit the Belles’ defense, which forced four turnovers during the run.

After going down 14, the Bulldogs were unable to get within eight for the remainder of the game.

Rashid and senior guard Alison Kessler led all scorers with 14 apiece – each also had six rebounds – and junior forward Erin Newsom chipped in with 10 points and seven boards of her own.

The Belles will look to continue their winning ways when they host Alma Wednesday night.