SMC vs. Kalamazoo
Milestones for Murphy and Belles in Win
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - With a pair of free throws with 12:30 left in the game to give the Belles a 12-point lead, Kelley Murphy scored her 1,000th point of her career. As a team, the Belles came back from a tough first half to win their school record 18th game of the year with a 77-65 decision over Kalamazoo.
Kalamazoo came out ready to pull a bit of an upset on their Senior Day as the Hornets led throughout the majority of the first half. Kalamazoo quickly established a 14-6 lead over the first 5:30 of the game. After the first of eight ties in the first half, the Belles took their first lead of the game on a layup by Annie Doyle for a 21-19 advantage. Kalamazoo looked to be taking a three-point lead into the halftime break, but Patsy Mahoney was fouled on a last second shot and hit all three of her free throws to knot the score at 39-39.
The Belles took control in the second half. After Kalamazoo hit the first bucket of the second half to take a 41-39 lead, Saint Mary's offense kicked into a different gear. Over the next 12 minutes of play, the Belles would out-score the Hornets by a 34-10 margin to pull away with the win. Over that stretch, eight different players contributed with points for Saint Mary's. Over the final seven minutes of play, Kalamazoo would not be able to get within fewer than 12 points of Saint Mary's.
For the game, the Belles were 23-of-27 from the line to Kalamazoo's 5-of-11, out-rebouned the Hornets 43-36, and had more steals (14-9) and fewer turnovers (17-23).
Saint Mary's has now won 18 games in a single season for the first time in program history.
Kelley Murphy became just the third junior and ninth overall player in program history to score 1,000 career points. She had game-highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds for her eleventh double-double of the season. Moreover, she has scored at least ten points in 54 of her 79 career games. Patsy Mahoney, meanwhile, had a strong all-around game for the Belles with 17 points, four assists, three steals, and three rebounds while being a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. The Belles also had six players add at least four points in the win.
Saint Mary's (18-7, 11-5 MIAA) will await the outcome of this afternoon's MIAA games and the possible tie-breaking scenarios that could unfold to see if they will be the third or fourth seed in next week's MIAA Tournament. The Belles have secured a first round home contest on Tuesday, February 22, but will find out later today who their opponent will be.