SMC vs. Trine
Ronan's Career-High Helps Belles Silence Thunder
ANGOLA, Ind. - Maggie Ronan scored a career-high 23 points to help lift the Saint Mary's basketball team to a 74-53 conference victory on the road against Trine on Tuesday night.
The Thunder kept close to the Belles in the early going of the contest as neither team established more than a three-point advantage in the first 14 minutes of play. After Trine took a 14-13 lead with 6:52 left in the first half, Saint Mary's would out-score the Thunder 24-11 over the final six and a half minutes to lead 37-25 at the break. The Belles asserted their control of the game with six points in the last 53 seconds of the half.
With that final spurt of scoring at the end of the first half, the Belles would lead by at least a dozen points throughout the rest of the game while taking the 74-53 decision.
For the second consecutive game, the Belles did not attempt a three-point shot while claiming a victory by a double-digit margin. Free throws continued to be key as Saint Mary's hit 22 of 24 (91.7%) attempts from the line. Heading into tonight's contest, the team was ranked 46th among all NCAA Division III women's basketball teams in free throw percentage with a 72.7 average. On the season, Saint Mary's has made twice as many free throws as their competition (Saint Mary's - 318; Opponents - 159). Moreover, the Belles were whistled for just one foul in the first half and 11 on the night, giving the Thunder just nine free throw opportunities.
The Belles were also able to capitalize on 24 Trine turnovers. Saint Mary's was able to turn those extra scoring opportunities into 30 points while the Thunder scored just eight points off of turnovers.
Maggie Ronan led all players with a new career-high of 23 points. The junior guard was 7 of 14 from the floor and was perfect from the charity stripe on all nine of her chances. Jessica Centa had a game-high five offensive rebounds and added 14 points with three steals for the Belles. Both Ronan and Centa eclipsed the 500 career point plateau in the win. Kelley Murphy had her 12th game with at least 10 points this season by scoring 13 for Saint Mary's.
The Belles (11-5, 4-3 MIAA) will have a short break during a busy week as they host Kalamazoo on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.