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SMC Basketball: ‘Grinnell style’ to test Belles defense

Kit Loughran | Friday, December 6, 2013

The Belles take to the court in a home matchup against North Central on Saturday.

The Belles (2-5, 0-1 MIAA) enter the game after an 80-70 loss to Adrian on Wednesday in the conference opener. Saint Mary’s allowed the Bulldogs (3-3, 1-0) to take a 45-33 lead at halftime, but the Belles opened the second half with a 17-6 run. However, the Bulldogs prevailed in the end. 

“I thought we played a very good second half against Adrian on Wednesday night, so we are looking to build on that,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said. “Our mindset [against North Central] continues to be focused on defense.”

Leading the Belles against out-of-conference opponent North Central (3-2), senior guard Shanlynn Bias and sophomore forward Eleni Shea both had strong rebounding and scoring games against Adrian. Bias was the game-leader in rebounds against Adrian with a career-high of eight. Shea tallied seven rebounds and scored a career-high 17 points against the Bulldogs, which increased her season average to 11.6 points per game.

The Belles look to maintain the same intensity in scoring and rebounding against North Central but need to adjust their strategy to better suit the Cardinals’ style of play.

“North Central is running what is known as the Grinnell style of offense,” Henley said.  “It is very up-tempo with a goal of shooting 50 two-point shots and 50 three-point shots a game, in addition to forcing you to play the same tempo.

“This is a style that is not very common among our opponents over the last several years, so we are exposing our team to that style of basketball as we prepare.”

The Cardinals implement the Grinnell style of offense with the help of junior forward Larynn Shumaker, freshman guard DeJa Moore and junior forward Uzuri Williams. Shumaker averages 15.0 points per game and Moore follows at 10.6 points per game.

North Central faces the Belles after a 108-93 loss to Luther College (5-1) on Saturday. The Cardinals forced 27 turnovers, but shot just 35.4 percent from the floor.

The Belles look to clinch their third win on the season against North Central on Saturday at Angela Athletic Facility at 3 p.m.

Contact Kit Loughran at [email protected]