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SMC Basketball: Calvin set to host first-place Belles

Alex West | Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Saint Mary’s will face the toughest test of its current four-game road trip when the Belles travel to play Calvin today.

The Belles (10-7) will try to improve to 3-0 on their current road trip and, more importantly, keep their lead in the MIAA standings over Saturday’s opponent Hope College.

To do that, the Belles must focus on beating Calvin (10-6), the MIAA’s fourth-place team.

“In this league, you can’t afford to look past anyone,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said. “We take [it] one game at a time.”

Knights forward Marcia Harris could prove to be a handful for the Belles defense. Harris averages more than 19 points per game with a field goal percentage of nearly 60 percent.

The Knights are also undefeated (3-0) at home in conference play.

The Belles will be led by senior forward Erin Newsom, who leads the team in scoring at 14.9 points per game.

“We have asked a lot of [Newsom] this season and she has responded,” Henley said.

But Henley also said the team isn’t one-dimensional. Saint Mary’s has five other players – Nicole Beier (10.6 points per game), Patsy Mahoney (9.4), Maggie Ronan (8.4), Kelley Murphy (7.5) and Anna Kammrath (7.4) – who average at least seven points per game.

“[It] can cause some difficulty in defending us,” Henley said.