SMC vs. Adrian
Belles Hang on to Snap Skid
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team snapped a four-game losing skid as they held on late to defeat visiting Adrian by a 64-62 score.
It was clear early on that it would be a close game as neither team built more than a five-point lead throughout the entire first half. The Bulldogs gained their biggest lead of the game by that same five-point margin on a three-pointer with 11:51 to go in the first half. The Belles, however, responded by going on a 10-0 run to reverse the roles and go up by five with just under 5:30 to go before halftime. No lead was safe in the game though as the two teams would have two ties and six lead changes in the last 3:21 of the opening 20 minutes. Saint Mary's would be the team with the lead heading to the locker rooms as Jessica Centa hit back-to-back shots to put the Belles up 35-32 at the break.
The Belles were able to go up by as much as nine points in the second half when they held a 49-40 advantage. The Bulldogs quickly responded with an 8-0 run to make the game 49-48 with just under 10 minutes to play. Each time Saint Mary's went up by a few points, Adrian fought right back into the game and tying the score twice during the six-minute mark. The Belles did not fold under the pressure and took the lead right back. In the closing seconds of the game with the score at 63-59, the Bulldogs put up a three with 11 ticks on the clock and found the bottom of the net to cut within a point at 63-62. Kelley Murphy hit the first of two free throws to give Adrian a chance to tie or win, but the Bulldogs' attempt at a buzzer-beater for the road victory was off the mark and the Belles held on for the win.
The Belles were able to gain an edge over the Bulldogs by capitalizing on their size advantage in the paint as well as on Adrian's turnovers. Saint Mary's outscored Adrian 36-26 in the paint and 28-17 on points off of turnovers.
Jessica Centa had a breakout performance for the Belles with a solid presence in the paint. The sophomore had her first collegiate double-double as she had a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds, which also set career-highs for the forward. Patsy Mahoney was right behind Centa with 17 points of her own while adding three steals. Kelley Murphy also hit double-digits in scoring for the Belles on the night as she chipped in 14 points.
The Belles (11-9, 6-6 MIAA) will next host Kalamazoo on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Angela Athletic Facility.