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Belles succumb to Flying Dutch at home

| Monday, February 6, 2023

Saturday afternoon in the Angela Athletic Center, No. 6 Hope College overwhelmed Saint Mary’s basketball 109-62. Both the Belles in gray and the Flying Dutch in blue featured green ribbons in recognition of mental health awareness.

Hope snagged the tip off and Flying Dutch guard Ella McKinney laid in the day’s first basket with less than 15 seconds erased from the clock. Quickly, junior guard Elle Deardorff knocked in a three-pointer, but McKinney soon responded with a three of her own.

Gobbling up an offensive board, senior guard Nikki Murphy’s layup evened out the scale at 5-5. The rest of the first quarter continued in this back-and-forth routine. The Belles were able to edge out to 9-8 before a 11-10 lead, at first not permitting Flying Dutch to take control.

Hope built some momentum with another McKinney three and a smooth layup from Jada Garner, but sophomore guard Jasmyne Townsend drained a long jumper to keep the home team within striking distance of 15-13.

Two sunk foul shots from Kendall Sietsema extended Hope’s lead to 17-13 five minutes into the matchup. With 3:20 to go in the first, junior forward Anne Goralczyk drew an and-one to bring the Belles back within a two-point margin 21-19, but she was unable to complete the three-point play.

Quickly, however, Hope jumped out to a seven-point lead. Hope guard Keegan Kaiser picked up and completed an and-one opportunity, putting Hope up 26-19 with just over two minutes left in the opening quarter.

Raven Jemison, who shot 7-7 from the field in her eight minutes of playing time that afternoon, notched in two more buckets close to the rim. Despite a late Belles layup off the fingers of sophomore forward Julia Schutz, the Flying Dutch stood at the helm up 32-23 at the end of 10 minutes.

Hope came out in the second quarter just as relentless as they had done at tip off. This time, Saint Mary’s was not able to keep pace. In two and half minutes, the Flying Dutch doubled their lead with nine unanswered points, up 41-23. A minute and a half later, Hope guard Meg Morehouse’s three-pointer lifted the Flying Dutch to an insurmountable 48-25 advantage.

The deep Hope roster wouldn’t step off the gas. On the day, 11 different Flying Dutch players would record five or more points. At half, Hope stood firmly ahead of Saint Mary’s 70-32.

The Belles put a much more competitive performance in the third quarter, putting up 16 points to the Flying Dutch’s 21. However, the dream of victory had long since faded away. 109-62 was the final score.

With the loss, Saint Mary’s falls to 7-15 on the season and to 4-9 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play. On Wednesday, Feb. 8, Saint Mary’s travels to Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL for their final road game of the season. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. EST.

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About Peter Breen

Peter Breen is junior from Cleveland, OH majoring in the Program of Liberal Studies and minoring in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. His Sunday's revolve around Observer scene, sports, news and social media meetings and Mass in Baumer Hall. Reach him at [email protected]

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