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SMC Basketball: Belles look for second MIAA win

Nick Boyle | Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Saint Mary’s will try to start a win streak in the MIAA when they play No. 15 Hope College tonight. The Belles won their first MIAA game 72-50 against Alma College at home Saturday.

“Anytime you win in the league, it feels good,” Belles coach Jenn Henley said. “Our players have been very focused on improving our defense and stopping the transition game. I felt we did a very good job on that against Alma.”

Saint Mary’s (3-5, 1-1) used a balanced scoring attack coupled with a strong defensive performance against the Scots. The Belles created 37 points off turnovers and held a plus-10 advantage in rebounds. Henley said her team hopes it can carry its defensive momentum into tonight’s contest against the No. 15/24 Flying Dutch (6-1, 2-0), who are undefeated so far in conference play.

“Hope College has a very strong basketball program. They continue to be one of the top teams in this league,” Henley said. “In order for us to be successful, we have to really shut down their inside game and attack the basket at the other end.”

The Belles relied on a balanced scoring attack this season with four seniors averaging more than 10 points per game. Senior guards Patsy Mahoney and Maggie Ronan lead Saint Mary’s with 15.4 points per game and 12.9 points per game, respectively. Senior forwards Kelley Murphy and Jessica Centa follow them in lead scorers. Ronan and Murphy lead the Belles in rebounding, averaging more than five rebounds per game.

The Belles will try to remain focused on the task at hand and come out strong against the Flying Dutch, despite the tough academic week.

“This team deserves a lot of credit,” Henley said. “Finals are only days away and they continue to balance the demands of our season in addition to their academics. They are very focused on what needs to be done.”

Tip-off against Hope is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tonight.



Contact Nick Boyle at [email protected]