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SMC Basketball: SMC seeks conference win

Bobby Graham | Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Coming into last Saturday’s matchup against Hope, the Belles had generated a considerable amount of momentum.

After winning the first three games of a grueling four-game road trip, including a tough overtime victory against Calvin, Saint Mary’s was tied with the Hope’s nationally ranked Dutch for the best record in MIAA conference play and a shot to go head-to-head for the regular season crown. However, despite the Belles’ hot streak, they fell behind early in their matchup Saturday afternoon and could never regain their grip, falling to the Flying Dutch 84-59, Saint Mary’s most lopsided loss of the season.

With their own fate no longer in their hands, Saint Mary’s (11-8, 9-2 MIAA) looks to help themselves out as much as they can as they face conference opponent Olivet Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

The Belles’ first home game in nearly two weeks should offer the squad a nice change of pace as the countdown to the MIAA conference tournament draws closer. Including Wednesday’s matchup against Olivet, Saint Mary’s has already played their next five opponents at least once this season. With a combined record of 4-1 against those teams, winning out is a possibility. Throw in a Hope loss, and the race for the regular season conference championship would heat up once again.

In order to make sure they don’t lose their second straight, however, the Belles will need to rejuvenate their game on the boards. In last Saturday’s loss to Hope, Saint Mary’s was outrebounded 57 to 45, allowing the Flying Dutch 30 second chance points. Another strong outing from freshman Jessica Centa, who broke through with 12 points last Saturday, would also help the Belles’ cause.