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SMC Basketball: St. Mary’s to open vs. Wheaton

Joe Wirth | Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saint Mary’s opens up the 2010-11 campaign with a road matchup against Wheaton College.

The program is coming off another successful year under the helm of Belles coach Jennifer Henley, as they tallied fifteen victories and finished in the top three in the conference for the second straight year. A victory over Albion in the first round of the MIAA Tournament last year marked the fourth straight year the Belles advanced to the semifinals of the tournament.

The Belles only have two returning seniors, but that lack of experience does not mean a lack of talent. The squad boasts two key returning starters in junior forward Kelley Murphy and senior guard Liz Wade. Murphy led the team in scoring last year while registering at least 10 points in 23 of the team’s 27 games. Murphy was selected to the All-MIAA Second Team and finished the season among the top 10 individuals in the league in seven statistical categories.

Meanwhile, Wade set a new Belles single season record with 102 steals last year. She also became the first player to record 100 assists and 100 steals in the same season and the second to amass 200 assists and 200 steals in a career.

The Belles face a difficult test in the Thunder, who return all five starters. Wheaton also features a 6’2″ freshman in Maris Hovee, who should pose a serious threat in the post.

The Belles begin the journey for a conference title Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Wheaton College’s King Arena.