SMC vs. Alma
Belles Topped by Scots
ALMA, Mich. - The Saint Mary's basketball team suffered a 79-76 loss to MIAA counterpart Alma on Saturday afternoon.
The host Scots came out of the starting gates ready to go against the Belles as they scored nine-straight points to gain a 9-2 lead just 3:36 into the game. Alma was able to extend their lead to as much as nine points when they went up 24-15 with under 10 minutes to play in the first half.
The Belles, however, did what they have done all season and made a comeback. Jessica Centa drained a second-chance layup with 3:26 remaining in the half to tie the game at 30-30. Three possessions later, Saint Mary's went ahead of the Scots on a three-pointer by Patsy Mahoney to take a 34-32 lead with 2:34 to go before the half. Alma responded with a layup and a three-pointer of their own to gain a 37-34 advantage, but the Belles score four consecutive points to close out the half and take the 38-37 halftime lead.
The lead traded hands a handful of times to open up the second half, but Saint Mary's was able to take and maintain a lead for much of the half. The Belles gained their biggest cushion over the Scots when Annie Doyle made a layup with 9:35 on the clock to put Saint Mary's up 62-56. After the score was tied on a pair of occasions, Alma regained the lead on a pair of free throws with five and a half minutes to play.
The Belles knotted the score at 69-69 and 74-74, but the Scots were red hot from the charity stripe and made five free throws in the final minute of the game to regain and keep the lead down the stretch. With Alma up three points, the Belles' Kelley Murphy pulled down a defensive rebound on just the Scots' third missed free throw of the game with nine seconds left. Patsy Mahoney had a good look at a game-tying three-pointer with two seconds on the clock, but the sophomore's shot was just off the mark as the Belles fell by the 79-76 final.
The Belles' offense was led by a trio of double-digit performances on the afternoon. Kelley Murphy led the team with a 19-point effort. Anna Kammrath, meanwhile, was right behind Murphy with 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Maggie Ronan added 15 points off the bench for the Belles, making five of the nine shots she took.
The Belles (10-9, 5-6 MIAA) will return to Angela Athletic Facility for a crucial MIAA contest next Wednesday, February 3, when they host Adrian in a battle to determine third place in the conference. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.