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SMC Basketball: Ronan, Saint Mary’s take down Hornets

Laura Coletti | Friday, January 21, 2011

Junior guard Maggie Ronan scored 18 of her 20 points in the first half as Saint Mary’s defeated Kalamazoo 90-59 on Thursday night.

After a slow start by both teams and multiple turnovers, the Belles (12-5, 5-3 MIAA) jumped out to a 22-12 lead with 11:25 remaining in the first half. Missed layups and offensive opportunities allowed the Hornets (2-14. 1-7) to close the gap to 26-25 with 7:02 remaining in the half, but Saint Mary’s managed to take a 44-34 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Belles coach Jennifer Henley said she was satisfied with her team’s first half performance, but acknowledged that her team needed to make adjustments in the second half.

“We talked about a lot of things at halftime,” Henley said. “I think the thing we talked about the most was defensively, taking a better stand against what they were doing with us and offensively, communicating more with each other.”

The Belles did just that as they scored the first six points of the second half to increase their lead to 16. Junior forward Kelley Murphy scored 14 points in the second half, including six during a five minute stretch in which the Belles outscored Kalamazoo 13-0.

“I think we had moments of very good defense,” Henley said. “I think we countered [our mistakes] a little bit with getting out and getting our transition game going and getting some points offensively.”

The play of senior captain Liz Wade at point guard was another strong point for the Belles. Wade finished with six assists and created many scoring opportunities on the offensive end.

“Liz Wade did a good job for us in getting some early steals and making things happen in transition,” Henley said. “She’s a four year point guard, and she’s one of our captains and she gets things going for us.”

Henley still feels that her team needs to improve other aspects of its game.

“I think we need to cut down on unforced turnovers,” she said. “We made some silly mistakes in our transition game, and we need to do a better job of boxing out and getting rebounds and eliminating second chance points that we give up teams. … We need to do the little things as we move forward to the second round of our conference play.”