Belles outmatched by Dutchmen
Andrew Robinson | Thursday, February 13, 2014
Saint Mary’s fell behind early in the first half and never recovered, unable to handle the potent Hope offense in an 89-59 loss Wednesday.
The Flying Dutchmen (22-0, 14-0 MIAA) dominated from the start, jumping out to a 17-3 lead to start the game. Senior guard Megan Kelley led the way, scoring 10 points over that stretch.
A few shots began to fall for the Belles (6-16, 4-9) midway through the half, but Hope continued to pull away, scoring possession after possession. The Dutchmen finished the game at 9-18 from 3-point range and added 24 points on 33 attempts from the free throw line, which Belles coach Jenn Henley said was due in part to poor defense.
“We put them at the line way too much, and they got easy looks from three,” she said.
The Flying Dutchmen took a commanding 53-25 lead into halftime.
Saint Mary’s rallied in the second half, trading baskets with Hope for most of the period. The Belles nearly outscored the Flying Dutchmen, 36-34, in the second half.
“We played much better in the second half at both ends,” Henley said.
However, the early deficit was too much to overcome, and the Flying Dutchmen retained a comfortable 30-point lead for most of the second half. Hope scored from almost every spot on the floor, and all 14 players on its roster recorded points.
Sophomore forward Eleni Shea was a bright spot for the Belles, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds. Senior guard Shanlynn Bias added 11 points for Saint Mary’s, while Kelley led all scorers with 17 points.
With just three games remaining on their schedule, the Belles prepare to host Alma for Senior Day, which will honor the careers of the team’s two seniors, co-captains Bias and forward Katherine Wabler.
The Scots (0-23, 0-14) have struggled this season, losing each of their games so far by an average of 21.5 points. Henley, however, said she is careful not
to underestimate the energy they will bring.
“Alma will be ready to play,” she said. “We have to come out ready to defend and push our transition game.”
When these two teams squared off Jan. 4, Saint Mary’s narrowly edged the Scots 70-67 in a comeback victory, fueled by Bias’s career-high, 20-point effort and a late 13-0 run.
Alma is led by junior guard Mallory Pruett, who supplies the Scots with an average of 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
“Senior Day is always special,” Henley said. “There will be a lot of emotions as we prepare to say goodbye to all three seniors, co-captains Bias and Wabler, as well as our manager Eileen Cullina.”
The Senior Day matchup between Saint Mary’s and Alma will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Angela Athletic Facility.
Contact Andrew Robinson at [email protected]