SMC vs. Alma
Belles Grind Out Win Against Alma
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - While free throws have been big for the Belles all season long, in no game until today has the Saint Mary's basketball team's success from the charity stripe been more crucial.
The Belles were one free throw away from tying their own MIAA single game record for free throw attempts in a single contest as Saint Mary's made 54 visits to the line on Saturday. The Belles connected on 37 of those 54 attempts and came from behind to take a 70-63 win from visiting Alma.
Saint Mary's had a tough time trying to get hot from the floor, making just six field goals in the first half and ten in the second half. The Scots were able to find more success from the floor than the Belles, hitting 25-of-61 (41.0%) field goal attempts. The difference, though, was that Alma was whistled for 37 fouls to Saint Mary's 18. The Belles were able to keep within reasonable striking distance throughout the first half by connecting with 16 free throws, while the Scots made 14 shots from the floor and just one free throw to give Alma the 32-28 advantage at the break.
The Scots looked to be ready to hand the Belles their third loss of the season when the teams came out from the halftime break. After a made jump shot in the paint by the Belles' Kelley Murphy to open the second half, the Scots quickly out-scored Saint Mary's 10-3 over the next 4:30 to go up 42-33. The Belles countered with a speedy run of their own, hitting a pair of free throws and three of four shots capped off by a three-pointer by Patsy Mahoney to tie the game at 42-42. With 9:24 to go in the second half, Shanlynn Bias completed the three-point play to break a 44-44 tie and put the Belles up for good.
The Scots would be the ones to keep the game close as they were within a bucket of the Belles on several instances, with the latest chance to take the lead away from Saint Mary's coming at 1:58 when Alma trailed 61-59. Down the stretch, it would be Patsy Mahoney and Maggie Ronan who would combine to make 11 of 12 free throws over the final 2:25 of the game to lift the Belles to the 70-63 victory.
Patsy Mahoney would lead all scorers in the game with 21 points after shooting 12-13 from the charity stripe. Kelley Murphy, meanwhile, earned her fifth double-double of the season and her 40th double-digit scoring effort of her career with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Shanlynn Bias also hit double-digit scoring as she tallied 10 points for the Belles.
Saint Mary's (7-2, 2-1 MIAA) will look to continue their hot start to the season over the Christmas break when they travel to San Diego for the Surf 'N Slam Tournament December 28-30. The Belles' first game will come against #15 nationally ranked George Fox University on December 28 at 3:00 p.m. PDT.