Late run not enough for Saint Mary’s in defeat
Elizabeth Greason | Monday, February 1, 2016
Saint Mary’s fell to Alma in a close game Saturday, 72-65. The Belles’ only win this season came against Alma (7-11, 2-8 MIAA) in December, however, Saint Mary’s (1-19, 1-10) was not able to grab a second win this year against the Scotties.
Belles head coach Jennifer Henley said she was pleased that her team was able to keep up with the Scotties for much of the game, even holding the lead on multiple occasions.
“We played well for three quarters on Saturday,” Henley said. “We struggled in the third quarter to find a way to put points on the boards. We didn’t have a way to answer Alma’s run.”
The Belles outscored the Scotties in the first quarter, 13-11, and in the fourth quarter, 24-14. Despite this, Saint Mary’s was unable to stop Alma in the middle of the game. Henley said a major turning point in the game came in the fourth quarter. Even though Saint Mary’s had a strong quarter, both offensively and defensively, two 3-point shots by Alma came to define the game.
“We had some big stops in the fourth quarter and closed the gap,” Henley said. “But they hit two big 3-pointers down the stretch as we gambled on defense, which widened their lead.”
One bright spot in the game for Henley and her squad was Belles senior captain Maddie Kohler’s performance from behind the arc. Kohler hit 75 percent (3-for-4) of her 3-point attempts Saturday, the only by Saint Mary’s on the day. Kohler scored 17 points in the loss, second only to fellow senior captain Eleni Shea, who led all scorers with 19 points.
However, the Belles were unable to keep the Scotties’ 3-point percentage down, as the home team shot 9-of-18 from behind the arc.
The loss to Alma brings the Belles’ losing streak to 11 straight games. Despite the disheartening mark, the Belles have been keeping more games close, dropping five of their last six by 13 points or less.
While the season has been far from ideal, Henley is hopeful for the Belles’ prospects in the coming weeks.
“It’s difficult being in so many close games and coming up short,” Henley said. “But we will continue to work hard as we close out the season. We have a big week coming up.”
The Belles will look to add another win to their record Wednesday when they take on Trine at home at 7:30 p.m.