SMC vs. Hope
Belles Drop MIAA Bout with Hope
HOLLAND, Mich. - The Saint Mary's basketball team fell 94-75 to MIAA-leading and #4 ranked Hope on Saturday afternoon.
Hope got out to an early lead, but the Belles were able to keep within striking distance a pair of times in the first four minutes of the game. With the score at 13-11, the Flying Dutch went on their first major run of the game by outscoring Saint Mary's 9-1 over the next three minutes of the game to go up 22-12. Hope then extended their lead to 37-19 with just over seven minutes left in the half.
The Belles dug in their heels as they have throughout the season and chipped away at the lead. Liz Wade picked up one of her five steals and fed the ball to Maggie Ronan. The sophomore then used a strong shot fake under the basket to draw a foul while making the layup with 2:46 to go in the half. After Ronan completed the three-point play, the Belles were down 42-34. Annie Doyle followed that up with a free throw of her own as Saint Mary's cut the lead to seven at 42-35. Hope, however, closed out the half with 11 unanswered points to take a 53-35 halftime lead.
Hope extended their lead in the second half and the Belles would not get closer than 19 points of the lead as they suffered the 94-75 loss. With the win, Hope extended their home game winning streak to 63 straight victories at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Patsy Mahoney led the offensive efforts for the Belles as she scored a team-high 14 points. Kelley Murphy, meanwhile, had a double-double for the Belles with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Jessica Centa and Liz Wade each chipped in double-digit scoring as they had 11 and 10, respectively. With her five steals, Liz Wade set a single-season record for steals. The junior currently has 91 thefts on the year, which is one better than the previous record of 90 set by Darcy Nikes in 1997.
The Belles (12-11, 7-7 MIAA) will have their last regular season home game on Wednesday, February 17, when they host Olivet at 7:30 p.m. It will also be the Belles' Pink Week as the team will help to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.