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SMC Basketball

Belles’ struggles continue against the Comets

| Thursday, January 22, 2015

Saint Mary’s dropped a 74-54 decision to conference foe Olivet on Wednesday at the Angela Athletic Facility on the campus of Saint Mary’s College.

The score was tied at 13-13 halfway through the opening half. Over the next 90 seconds, the Belles (3-14, 1-7 MIAA) went on a 7-2 run to grab a 20-15 advantage with eight-and-a-half minutes to go in the first half. However, the Comets (9-8, 4-4 MIAA) went on a 19-11 run to close out the half and head into the locker room with a 34-31 lead.

“I thought we did a really good job on defense in the first half despite losing the rebound advantage,” Belles coach Jennifer Henley said. “We attacked them defensively and got to the foul line like we had planned.”

Saint Mary’s went on an 8-0 run to begin the second half and jumped to a 39-34 lead. Olivet responded with a 16-0 run over the next seven minutes to take a 50-39 lead and they never looked back.

“The second half Olivet made some adjustments on offense and we couldn’t stop their run like we did in the first half,” Henley said.

Senior forward Carli Reid paced the Comets with 23 points and four rebounds and senior center Stefanie Lang scored 19 points to go along with 16 rebounds to record the double-double.

Junior forward Elani Shea led the Belles with 15 points with seven rebounds, while junior forward Krista Knapke added 10 points and four rebounds. Freshman forward Molly Robinson had nine points, freshman forward Gabby Diamond added seven points and five rebounds and junior guard Maddie Kohler contributed five points and one rebound for the Belles.

St. Mary’s shot 37 percent from the field in the first half and 33.3 percent in the second half while Olivet had a 42.1 percent field goal percentage in the first half and a 45.5 percent field goal percentage in the second half. The Belles attempted only three 3-point shots the entire game, making only one. The Comets attempted 18 3-point conversions throughout the game, connecting on only four of them. Saint Mary’s went 15-of-21 (71.4 percent) from the free-throw line while Olivet made eight-of-12 (67 percent) attempts.

“Saturday starts round 2 of MIAA play,” Henley said. “At this point in the season, teams know each other pretty well. We have to really take a stand on defense and look to outwork opponents down the stretch.”

The Belles will attempt to turn their season around during the second half of conference play, starting with a road game against Alma on Saturday.

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