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SMC Basketball: Belles win in Pink Zone event

Matthew DeFranks | Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pink must be their color. The Belles won this year’s Pink Zone game, tripping up Adrian, 73-52.

Saint Mary’s, outfitted in everything from pink shoelaces to pink headbands, pulled away in the second half on the strength of a 27-5 run. The run opened the Belles’ lead up to 24 points.

“We had to do a better job in the second half of boxing out. I wasn’t too happy with our rebounding in the first half,” Belles coach Jenn Henley said. “We just picked up the intensity and got stops.”

By the time the Bulldogs (7-16, 4-12 MIAA) scored their ninth point of the second half with 10:44 remaining, they had already committed nine team fouls — one away from the double bonus. The Saint Mary’s (17-7, 10-5) parade to the free throw line soon ensued.

In the second half, the Belles shot 15-for-20 from the line and finished the game 25-for-31. After junior guard Maggie Ronan’s made free throw in the first half, the 2010-11 Belles set a new program record for most free throws made in a season, surpassing 2008-09’s mark of 484. This win also ties the school record for most wins in a season, also set by the 2008-09 team.

The Belles once again kept a balanced attack on offense, putting four players into double figures Junior forward Kelley Murphy scored a game-high 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds Junior guard Patsy Mahoney also chipped in 13 points while moving into fourth place for free throws made in a single season by any Belles player.

A season-long goal, Saint Mary’s outscored Adrian 38-18 in the paint.

“We have the height advantage with our post players,” Henley said. “We were able to take advantage of how Adrian was playing us and we started converting in the paint.”

Saint Mary’s extended its winning streak to three games and has now won eight of their past 10 games. The Belles have one remaining conference game this weekend, when they travel to Kalamazoo for the finale of both teams’ regular seasons.

“This game definitely gives us a little bit more confidence defensively,” Henley said. “This game set the tone for our last game.”

Saint Mary’s will close the regular season against Kalamazoo before returning home and hosting a MIAA tournament game.