Belles Grind Out Win Over Albion
ALBION, Mich. - The Saint Mary's basketball team used an 11-2 run to break a 53-53 tie and take control of the game in the final minutes of the game on their way to a 70-62 win on the road on Wednesday night.
The Brits entered the contest having won 12 of their last 13 games, which included a 72-52 win at Saint Mary's in January. The Belles, meanwhile, were searching for their third win in the last four games.
Saint Mary's broke a 4-4 tie early in the game with a 23-4 run to jump out to a 27-8 lead with 8:27 remaining before halftime. Albion cut that lead down to just eight with the final six points of the half as the Belles took the 31-23 lead into the half.
Albion continued their run from the end of the first half into the second with an 11-2 scoring burst to open the period to take a four-point lead.
The Brits took their largest lead of the contest with five straight points to break a 39-39 tie. Shanlynn Bias hit a jumper on the Belles' next possession to get Saint Mary's within three points of Albion, but the Brits came right back with a layup. Jessica Centa knocked down a jump shot and Kelley Murphy had a three-point play to tie the game at 46-46. Five minutes later, the game was tied for the sixth time with the teams knotted at 53-53 with 5:09 remaining. The Belles then kicked into a new gear as they out-scored Albion 11-2 to take control of the game with a 64-55 lead. Saint Mary's pushed their lead to as much as 10 in the final minute of play on their way to the win.
The Belles made 27 of their 38 free throw attempts while limiting Albion to just seven total free throw chances in the entire game with all seven attempts coming in the second half. Saint Mary's also held a commanding advantage in rebounds in the contest, pulling down 42 boards to Albion's 26.
Kelley Murphy had her fifth double-double of the season and 21st of her career with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Jessica Centa matched her career-high single-game point total on the night with 18 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor and 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Patsy Mahoney added 11 points in the win along with a game-best seven assists.
With the win, Saint Mary's (10-11, 6-6 MIAA) has had eight consecutive seasons of at least 10 overall wins. The Belles will look to continue their winning ways on Saturday when they travel to Olivet for a 3:00 p.m. contest against the Comets.