SMC vs. Otterbein

Cardinals Edge Out Belles in Classic Opener

Box Score (pdf)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's College basketball team dropped a tight 66-63 decision to Otterbein College in the opening game of the 2008 Saint Mary's Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday night.

The visiting Cardinals shot 55.6% from the floor in the first half to the Belles' 29.4% to take as much as a 12 point lead.  But Saint Mary's was 13-for-16 (81.3%) from the line in that same 20 minute span to cut the Cardinal lead and keep the game at a close 38-34 at the break.

Saint Mary's wasted little time in the second half to erase the Cardinal lead as Maggie Ronan scored a pair of baskets in the first two minutes to tie the game at 38-38.  The Belles got the lead for the first time since the 13:07 mark in the first half with a basket by Anna Kammrath less than five minutes into the second half.  The two teams would trade the lead seven times before the Cardinals eventually took the lead for good with 11:45 to go in the game.

The Belles would battle back to within a point with 3:26 remaining, but the Cardinals responded with seven unanswered points and held on for the 66-63 win as the Belles' three-point shot at the buzzer was just off the mark.

Nicole Beier led the team with 12 points for the Belles.  Maggie Ronan and Anna Kammrath both added 11 points to round out the double-digit scoring efforts for Saint Mary's.

The Belles will now face #21 University of Chicago in day two of the Thanksgiving Classic.  Game time on Sunday is set for 3:00 p.m.