SMC vs Otterbein
Basketball - Saint Mary’s Falls in Championship Game
December 29, 2007, WESTERVILLE, OH – In the championship game of the Smokey Ballenger Classic hosted by Otterbein, the Belles fell to the host school 79-65 on Saturday evening to complete the four-team, two-day event.
Otterbein raises its record to 7-5 with the win while Saint Mary’s falls to 5-6.
The first half featured six ties and six different lead changes, neither team held a lead larger than six points. Over the final 3:45 in the opening frame, Otterbein scored six of the final nine points of the first half in taking a 39-36 edge into the locker room.
Saint Mary’s nailed two of their first three field goal attempts of the second half to take a 40-39 lead with 18:10 left in the game. The Cardinals slowly crept in front and eventually took a 53-46 advantage on a Karli Volkmer lay-up with 11:41 remaining.
While the Belles never were able to regain the lead down the stretch, they missed an opportunity to tie the game with 3:46 remaining. With Saint Mary’s trailing by two (64-62), Erin Newsom missed the second of two free throws to keep the advantage in Otterbein’s favor. The Cardinals put the game away by connecting on all three of the field goal attempts and five of their seven free throw attempts down the stretch.
During the second frame, Otterbein connected on 57.7 percent (15-of-26) of their field goal attempts to aid in their victory.
Alison Kessler scored a team high 18 points and was named to the all-tournament team. Newsom tallied her second double-double of the season with a 10-point, 12-rebound performance to also land a spot on the all-tournament squad.
Anna Kammrath’s 13-point effort rounded out the double figure scorers for the Belles.
The runner-up finish marks the second time this season the Belles ended an in-season tournament in second place. During the Thanksgiving holiday Saint Mary’s lost in the championship game to #22 George Fox at the Trinity University Thanksgiving Classic.