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SMC Basketball: Belles open season with a strong test

Brendan Bell | Monday, November 14, 2011

The Belles will build on last season’s winning record and bring back a familiar roster as they host No. 25 Wheaton in their season opener Tuesday.

“Wheaton is a very strong team,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said. “We need to set the tone early with our defense and keep them off the boards. They are very disciplined at both ends of the court.”

The Belles finished their 2010-2011 season 15-12 and placed third in the conference. The core of the team returns, including senior forward and captain Kelley Murphy. Murphy said she is optimistic about the upcoming season.

“We are approaching this season strong with experience and a talented incoming class,” Murphy said. “We look forward to picking up right where we left off, to build on all of our successes accomplished [last] season.”

Murphy averaged 15.5 points per game and became the ninth player in school history to score 1,000 career points last year. She also earned first team all-conference honors, while senior guard Maggie Ronan received a spot on the all-conference second team. “We return five seniors this year who have really made their mark on this program over the last three seasons,” Henley said. “They are a great group of women to coach and I am expecting big things this year from all of them.”

Henley said that if the team can expand on what it accomplished last year, it will have a good chance of winning against the Thunder.

“We return one of the most talented groups since I have been a part of the program,” Henley said. “I think we have the potential to do many great things for the 2011-2012 season.”

The Thunder will travel to Saint Mary’s for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off Tuesday.


Contact Brendan Bell at [email protected]