SMC vs. Kalamazoo
Basketball - Kessler’s School Record Effort Leads Saint Mary’s Past Kalamazoo
January 16, 2008, KALAMAZOO, MI – Alison Kessler set a new Saint Mary’s record for points scored in a game with 41 in leading the Belles in a come from behind 72-69 victory over Kalamazoo in MIAA basketball action.
The win lifts the Belles record to 7-7 overall and 3-3 in league play while Kalamazoo drops to 4-10 and 1-5 respectively.
Kessler’s career scoring night eclipsing the previous College record of Julie Norman who scored 38 points in a game during the 1998-99 season. The senior’s 41 point night included 14 made field goals which is tied for the second most made baskets in a single game in Belles history. The native of LaPorte, Ind., scoring output is the most points scored in a game by a Division III player this season.
In addition, her scoring total falls just one point shy of the MIAA all-time single game mark by one point (42 by Hope’s Kari Nysee in 1996 vs. Albion). Her night, which also included tying her career high rebounds with nine, almost went in a losing effort.
Saint Mary’s scored the game’s first six points which proved to be the largest lead either team would have in the opening frame. The Hornets took their first lead of the contest at 12-11 when Therese Demres nailed a three-pointer with 12:01 left till halftime.
The remainder of the half saw five lead changes and two ties as Kalamazoo eventually took a 37-33 advantage into the locker room.
Kalamazoo pushed their lead into double figures for the first time at 53-43 with just over 12 minutes remaining. The Hornet took their largest lead of the game at 58-46 after Kirsten Straw lay-up with 10:55 to go.
Saint Mary’s began to mount their comeback with 7:48 left and down 61-49. The Belles scored 23 of the game’s final 31 points down the stretch for the win. Kessler hit a lay-up with 34 seconds left in the game to give the Belles their first lead of the second half. It was a lead they would not relinquish as Kalamazoo missed two field goals on their final two possessions.
The only other Saint Mary’s player to post double figures in any category was Erin Newsom who grabbed 11 rebounds.