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SMC Basketball: Kessler sets record, Belles lose anyway

Meaghan Veselik | Monday, February 11, 2008

Senior guard Alison Kessler set the school record for 3-pointers in a career, but Saint Mary’s fell to Albion 78-70 Saturday at the Angela Athletic Center in the two teams’ second meeting this season.

The loss was the second straight at home for the Belles.

Saint Mary’s (9-12, 5-8 MIAA) dropped to No. 7 in the MIAA while Albion (17-4, 10-3 MIAA) 17-4 overall) stays in second.

The Belles started quickly. After two free throws from forward Erin Newson put the first points on the board for either team, junior Megan Conanty made a steal and coast-to-coast layup to give Saint Mary’s a 4-0 lead.

Saint Mary’s didn’t keep Albion scoreless for long. The Britons first got on the board at 3:09, managing to score 19 points in the next seven minutes. With seven minutes to go in the half, Saint Mary’s found itself down 25-20.

Freshman Liz Wade started the Belles’ comeback with a layup with 6:50 to go, which was quickly followed by a 3-pointer and jump shot by Alison Kessler, bringing the game to a tie at 27 with 4:55 left in the half. A jump shot from Erin Newsom and another 3-pointer from Kessler gave the Belles back the lead.

However, they weren’t able to hold it for long, trailing 39-35 at the half.

The Belles have started the second half strong in recent games, but this was not the case on Saturday. Saint Mary’s did not score until almost four minutes into second half when Newsom made another two free throws while Albion went on a nonstop scoring run, never giving back the lead.

The Belles weren’t able to keep up with the Britons on rebounds, an area Saint Mary’s has been continuously working to improve. They were outrebounded 35-28, as well as out-shot, going 44.2 percent from the floor to Albion’s 49.2 percent.

Saturday’s game wasn’t a complete loss for Kessler, who set the new record for most 3-point shots during a career with 133, three more than Bridget Boyce’s 130 from 2002-06.

This season, Kessler also set the school records for most points scored in a game (41) and most free throws in a season (128 so far this year). Previously, she has set the record for most free throws in a game with 15. Kessler also scored the game high for both teams with 28 points, bringing her season point total to 415.

The Belles take a week off from games, going up against conference foe Kalamazoo on Feb. 16 at home. Last-place Kalamazoo will hopefully give Saint Mary’s the win it needs to get back on track before the MIAA tournament at the end of the month.