2013 Season Recap
The 2012-13 basketball season was an opportunity for growth, development, and experience as the program graduated five seniors last year and welcomed seven new members to the team this winter.
Senior Kayla Wolter, juniors Shanlynn Bias and Katherine Wabler, and sophomore Ariana Paul entered this season with just 22 combined starts. Those same four players had 460 collective points, 111 steals, and 94 total assists coming into this basketball season. Each of those four players set single-game and single-season career-high marks in each of those categories.
Bias went on to lead the team in scoring (332 points), steals (55), and assists (52) during her junior season. An all-tournament team selection in the opening tournament of the season at Wheaton, she scored at least 10 points in 19 of the team’s 25 games and had at least eight points for the Belles in every contest. At the end of the season, she was selected by the conference coaches as an All-MIAA Second Team honoree after leading the conference in minutes played and steals while standing fourth in scoring and third in free throw percentage in league contests.
Paul, meanwhile, was the MIAA Co-Player of the Week during the fourth week of the season after three consecutive games with a double-double. In her final game of the season before studying abroad, she helped propel the team to a 59-43 win over in-state MIAA rival Trine with an 18 point, 20 rebound performance. The 20 rebounds put her just three off the school record mark as she was just the third player in program history to pull down 20 rebounds in a single contest.
Eager to show they were ready to play, the Belles had major contributions from their seven newcomers throughout the year. Krista Knapke was a two-time all-tournament team selection during her first season with the Belles. The third-highest scorer on the team this year, she had 12 games with at least 10 points and picked up double-doubles at Kalamazoo and at Alma. Fellow freshman Eleni Shea finished the season second in scoring during her rookie season at Saint Mary’s. Shea also led the team in defensive rebounds (102) and total rebounds (158), becoming the first freshman since 2006 to lead the team in rebounding.
Looks can be deceiving as the Belles were incredibly competitive despite their 5-20 record. Seven of the team’s losses came to programs that made the NCAA Division III Tournament. Moreover, the team was on the wrong side of the scoring column in 10 games decided by fewer than 10 points with the average difference in score in those games being less than six points.
With much talent and experience returning next season, the Belles look to battle their way into contention for the league tournament and beyond in 2014.