2014 Season Recap
Closely-decided contests were the name of the game for the 2013-14 Saint Mary’s basketball team. In the 25-game season, 13 games were decided by ten points or less as the Belles posted a 7-18 overall record on the year.
Among those 13 games decided by ten or fewer points were three-point victories at Alma and at home against Albion. In the first game of the calendar year, Saint Mary’s took their first lead against Alma with 4:08 remaining in the game. A good layup by Eleni Shea with 52 seconds on the clock and a pair of free throws by Maddie Kohler in the final 20 seconds proved to be the difference in the 70-67 final.
Two weeks later, the Belles played in their first overtime game since January 2009 as regulation was not long enough for Saint Mary’s against Albion at home. After Maddie Kohler’s potential game-winning three pointer was slightly off the mark, the Belles jumped out to a 63-55 lead over the first 3:41 of the five-minute overtime to take back the momentum from the Brits. The Saint Mary’s defense held the Brits to a missed jump shot in the final second of the game to preserve the 67-64 decision.
Senior Shanlynn Bias and junior Ariana Paul both picked up right where they had left off last season while sophomores Krista Knapke, Eleni Shea, and Maddie Kohler stepped into roles of being big contributors on both ends of the court this year. Bias and Paul started in each of the Belles’ 25 games and averaged over 13 points each. The pair was also the top two players on the team in assists and steals.
Bias was selected by the conference coaches as an All-MIAA Second Team honoree for the second consecutive year at the end of the season. She was fourth among all conference players in scoring with 252 points in 16 league contests to average 15.8 points per game. She was sixth in field goal percentage (50.7 percent) while posting the best field goal percentage among non-post players in MIAA games. In the opening tournament of the season in Wisconsin, she was an all-tournament team selection in the St. Norbert Tip-Off Tournament.
Paul was also a repeat honoree with her second MIAA Player of the Week honor in as many seasons. She scored 21 points, pulled down 14 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end, and added five steals and five assists in leading Saint Mary’s to a 67-64 overtime victory over Albion. She also had 15 points and seven rebounds in a loss to Calvin.
Knapke, Shea, and Kohler each set new single-game career high scoring marks over the course of the season while starting in the majority of the Belles’ contests. Knapke was an all-classic selection at the Wheaton Beth Baker Classic in November. Shea increased her rebounding output by almost 30 boards over the season from last year’s total. Kohler, meanwhile, improved upon last year’s totals in nearly every statistical category while stepping into the role as the team’s starting point guard.