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SMC Basketball: Saint Mary’s prepares to take on No. 3 Hope

Laura Coletti | Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Saint Mary’s will be put to its toughest test to date when it hosts No. 3 Hope on Thursday, a day after the MIAA conference postponed all scheduled athletic events due to forecasted blizzard conditions.

The Belles (14-6, 7-4 MIAA) will take advantage of that extra day to prepare to face the Flying Dutch (18-1, 9-1). Despite Hope’s national ranking, Saint Mary’s coach Jenn Henley said the Belles will strategize against Hope just as they would against any other team.

“We are preparing for Hope the same way we prepare for any team in the MIAA,” Henley said.

Saint Mary’s has played Hope once already this season and suffered a 19-point loss. The Belles, however, trailed by just three points at the half, and their 35 points in the first period were the most allowed by the Flying Dutch in the first half of any game this season. They will have to focus on containing the Flying Dutch forwards in order to avenge that loss.

“Hope has one of the best inside games that we have seen,” Henley said. “They rotate four different post players that account for over half of their offense. We have to find a way to limit their paint points.”

The postponement of this game will result in a quicker turnaround than normal, as it will give the Belles only one day to prepare for Saturday’s game against Trine.