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SMC Basketball: Belles fall to Calvin in conference matchup

Joe Wirth | Monday, December 6, 2010

The Belles suffered this season’s second loss as they fell 76-55 to MIAA opponent Calvin in their conference opener at the Angela Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.

Saint Mary’s (5-2, 0-1 MIAA) was not able to keep up with the No. 23 Knights (5-2, 2-0) after going point for point with them for the first five minutes of play when Calvin took off with a 21-9 scoring run. The Knights continued to hold on to their lead, keeping the Belles within at least eight points for the remainder of the contest.

Saturday’s second half saw Calvin continue to dominate the Belles as it held at least a 10-point lead throughout the period. Saint Mary’s junior guard Patsy Mahoney had 12 of her team-high 16 points in that half as she led the Belles attempts to come back. Mahoney’s efforts included a deep three-pointer in the second half that capped off an 8-0 scoring drive to bring the game to 65-53 and leading the team in assists with six.

Junior forward Jessica Centa gave the Belles offense another lift with 12 points of her own, while junior forward Kelley Murphy and senior guard Liz Wade each had five steals. Murphy had eight points and seven rebounds as well while sophomore guard Annie Doyle rounded out Saint Mary’s top scorers with nine points.

Saturday was not one of the Belles’ strongest conference openers, but the Knights have proven themselves a challenge multiple times before as they have been one of the top-three MIAA teams the last five seasons. The team’s talent showed on the court Saturday as preseason All-American sophomore forward Carissa Verkaik scored a 17 points and sophomore forward Ally Wolffiss had 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Calvin took advantage of Saint Mary’s on the floor, dominating scoring within the paint (28-1) and shooting 45.5 percent from the floor to the Belles’ 28.8 percent. Saint Mary’s had double the amount of turnovers as the Knights (20-10) while also falling short in second chance opportunities (10-7) and bench points (21-14).

Saint Mary’s will look to recover against a second conference opponent Tuesday night when it travels to Olivet for a 7:30 p.m. game.