SMC vs. Calvin
Belles Advance to MIAA Championship Game for First Time Ever
Box Score (pdf)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the first time in program history, the Saint Mary's College basketball team will be playing in the MIAA Tournament Championship game. With the #2 Belles' 67-58 win over #3 Calvin on Thursday, Saint Mary's will advance to the finals when they square off with #1 Hope on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at DeVos Fieldhouse.
The Knights would be the ones coming out of the gate with something to prove on Thursday, hitting their first two shots and a pair of free throws to get an early 7-2 lead. The Belles responded with eight straight points to take a 10-7 lead with 15:08 on the clock. With the game at a tight 13-11, the Belles put the pressure on the Knights with a 9-0 run to go up 22-11 with under seven minutes to go in the half. Calvin made a dent in the Saint Mary's lead, but the Belles still took an eight point lead to the locker room with a 31-23 advantage at the half.
The Belles had a seven point lead with 15:56 in the second half when they went on another run to go up 16 with 11:02 remaining in the half. The veteran lineup for the Knights would not give up easily, however, cutting the Saint Mary's lead to 58-50 with 2:21 on the clock. The Belles responded in a big way as they had all game when Liz Wade found Katie Rashid cutting to the basket, and the senior guard drained the layup to regain a double-digit lead for Saint Mary's. Erin Newsom and Patsy Mahoney, meanwhile, made their free throws down the stretch to lift Saint Mary's to the 67-58 win and a trip to their first MIAA Tournament Championship contest.
Newsom led all scorers in the game with a 19 point performance, which included a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Katie Rashid had a solid game with 12 points, four assists, and a pair of steals. Anna Kammrath rounded out the double-digit scorers for the Belles with 11 on the night.
Also in the contest, the Belles broke yet another school record. The team has made 471 free throws on the season, which surpasses the previous mark of 461 made by the 1997-98 team.
The win gives the Belles their 17th win of the season and sets up a #1 vs. #2 showdown in the championship game against Hope. Hope's lone loss of the season came at the hands of the Belles at the beginning of January. The championship will be played at Hope College's DeVos Fieldhouse on Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. tip-off time.