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SMC Basketball: Belles travel to Beth Baker Classic

Observer Staff Report | Thursday, November 21, 2013


The Belles will travel this weekend to Wheaton, Ill., for the Beth Baker Classic, where they will first square off against Buena Vista.

The Beavers (0-3) are coming off a rough stretch from last weekend, where they dropped both of their games in the Cornell Classic.

For the Belles (1-1) to have success against Buena Vista, they must find a way to slow down the Beavers’ senior center Malarie Gilley, who averaged 16 points and nine rebounds over the course of the team’s three games at the Cornell Classic in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Senior guard Susan Kies also poses a threat, averaging 10.5 points per game.

On offense, Saint Mary’s will need continued production from senior guard Shanlynn Bias, who leads the team with 14 points per game and a .538 field goal percentage. The Belles will also need sophomore forward Eleni Shea and junior forward Ariana Paul to continue their roles as complementary scorers. The pair averages a combined 24 points per game, and Paul is also tied for the team lead in 3-point percentage, shooting .750 from beyond the arc.

The Belles’ Saturday opponent, Wheaton, appears to be a tougher test. The Thunder (2-1) have won both games by an average of 22.5 points per game and only suffered a loss to George Fox by three points in the closing seconds.

The Belles will need to contain Thunder sophomore center Hannah Considine, who leads the team in points with 12 per game, and will need to keep senior forward Maris Hovee off the glass. The senior averages over seven rebounds per game. The Thunder rely on a balanced attack, as four players average over .500 in field goal percentage.

The Belles begin action at the Beth Baker Classic on Friday against Buena Vista at 4 p.m. The Belles will play again Saturday against Wheaton at 3 p.m.