SMC vs. Adrian
Balanced Offensive Effort Carries Belles Past Bulldogs
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Four players scored at least ten points each as the Saint Mary's basketball team earned their tenth MIAA win with a 73-52 decision over Adrian on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs hit the first two baskets of the game, but Saint Mary's took little time to erase the deficit by rattling off six straight points in a minute and a half of game time. Adrian kept within striking distance throughout much of the first half, tying the game 20-20 with 5:16 to go on a three-pointer by Katie Ross. Saint Mary's, however, responded with a 10-2 run to end the half and take the 30-22 lead at the break. The Belles showed their offensive balance during that span as Maggie Ronan, Kelley Murphy, Jessica Centa, and Patsy Mahoney all notched points to start Saint Mary's efforts to pull away.
The Belles then opened the second half up with a 15-3 spurt that would give Saint Mary's a 45-25 advantage with 12:58 to go in the game. Annie Doyle got things started with back-to-back jump shots at the top of the key. Patsy Mahoney then accounted for five straight points for the Belles. After a Katie Sullivan spin move in the lane for a bucket, Kelley Murphy hit four free throws to cushion the lead to 20 points.
Down the stretch, Adrian would be unable to get within fewer of 19 points of the Belles as Saint Mary's took the decisive 73-52 win at home.
In the team's 17th win, which ties the 2010-11 squad with the 2008-09 team for the most wins in a season in the history of the program, the Belles hit a pair of impressive marks this season. The team has made 507 of their 684 free throw attempts on the year, the most made free throws by any team in the 30+ years of varsity basketball at Saint Mary's. The team has also collected 1005 rebounds on the season, marking the fourth consecutive year that a Belles basketball team has had over 1000 rebounds.
Leading the offensive charge for the Belles was Kelley Murphy, who had game-highs of 18 points and nine rebounds. Maggie Ronan added 14 points and three steals for Saint Mary's. Patsy Mahoney was right behind Ronan with 13 points and a game-best four assists. Jessica Centa rounded out the double-digit scoring efforts by the Belles with 10 points.
The Belles (17-7, 10-5) have now won 10 conference games for just the third time in school history and will look to set the new win total mark when they travel to Kalamazoo on Saturday. Saint Mary's and Kalamazoo are set for a 1:00 p.m. tip-off in the final regular season game for both teams before the conference tournament begins next week.