SMC vs. Olivet
Free Throws Lift Belles to Win
OLIVET, Mich. - The Belles made eight more free throws than their counterparts and were 77.8% from the charity stripe as they held off Olivet for a 61-58 win against the Comets on Saturday afternoon.
Neither team was able to establish much of a sizable lead in the first half until the closing minutes of the opening 20 minutes. With the game tied for the seventh time at a score of 22-22 with 5:54 to go, the host Comets went on a tear to close out the opening frame. Olivet scored nine straight points over the final minutes of the half to take a 31-22 lead at the break.
The Belles made six consecutive free throws to open up the second half, but Olivet was able to get their biggest lead of the game when they took a 10-point advantage at 38-28 with 16:35 remaining. Saint Mary's, however, was able to go on a tear of their own in the second half to turn the game around. The Belles first used a 15-0 run over the next 5:11 of the game to turn that 38-28 deficit into a 43-38 lead. Saint Mary's did not stop there though as they went on to take a 51-42 lead with 7:19 left as they out-scored Olivet 23-4 over a nine-plus minute span.
The Comets were able to trim that lead down to a single point a pair of times in the final minutes of the game, which included a 59-58 score with 11 seconds left on the clock. Maggie Ronan hit the final two free throws in a half where the Belles made 13-of-15 in the half to give Saint Mary's the final 61-58 advantage. The Belles were able to hold on for the three-point win as Olivet was unable to get off a good shot in the closing seconds of the game.
Ronan led a trio of Saint Mary's players who had double-digit scoring efforts against the Comets. The sophomore guard had a game-high and career-high 18 points, which including a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line, with three steals and a pair of assists for the Belles. Anna Kammrath and Kelley Murphy each chipped in 12 points of their own. Kammrath had her second straight double-double as she also added a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Belles (9-5, 4-2 MIAA) move back into third place in the conference with the win and will face off against fourth place Adrian on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. in Adrian.