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SMC Basketball: Belles drop third straight

Griffin Dassatti | Friday, February 1, 2008

Ringing in a victory hasn’t been easy lately for the Belles. After losing to two of the strongest teams in the MIAA [Calvin and Hope] last week, the team was dealt a third loss by the Olivet Comets Wednesday.

Saint Mary’s started off strong in Wednesday’s game. Junior Megan Conanty quickly racked up nine points in the first four minutes of play. Olivet went on a scoring run with 8:27 in the first period, quickly closing the gap. Thanks to a 3-pointer by junior Erin Newsom with nine seconds left in the half, the Belles led 33-31.

But they weren’t able to hold on. After increasing their lead to 38-31 less than two minutes into the second period, Saint Mary’s defense wasn’t able to stop Olivet from getting the ball into the net. Olivet quickly rebounded with a 55-49 lead with ten minutes left in the game.

The Comet’s continued to score, winning 80-70 over the Belles .

Saint Mary’s manages to score and average 67.6 points per game, but somehow its opponents are finding ways to overrun the players. The team has lost the last three games by ten points or less, including a nine-point loss to first-ranked Hope last Saturday.

The Belles struggled on the boards Wednesday night as they were outrebounded 38-34. Rebounding hasn’t been much of an issue lately for Saint Mary’s. Coach Jenn Henley said she feels the team’s rebounding has “improved all season and we need to continue those efforts.”

The Belles will head to Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. Saturday to take on the Bulldogs at 3 p.m It will be Saint Mary’s last away game this season before the MIAA Championship tournament starts Feb. 25.

Adrian (4-5 MIAA, 6-11 overall) is ranked one spot above Saint Mary’s (4-6 MIAA, 8-10 overall) in the MIAA. But the Bulldogs haven’t been a problem for the Belles recently. In the teams’ two meetings last season, the Belles won both, 56-48 and 84-72, respectively. Saturday’s meeting is the first of two for the season – the two face off again at Saint Mary’s on Feb. 20.