Belles Fall to Brits
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team was on the wrong end of a 72-52 decision in a conference contest against Albion on Wednesday evening.
From the opening tip-off, it was evident that this episode of the clash between Saint Mary's and Albion would be much like the past several meetings in that it would be a hard-fought, physical basketball game. In the opening half, the score was tied four times while the lead changed hands on seven different occasions. With Albion up 22-19, Shanlynn Bias hit a jump shot with 4:22 to go before halftime to get the Belles within a point of the lead. After a made free throw by Albion, Bias nailed another jump shot to knot the game at 23-23. The sophomore then made it three made buckets in-a-row to put Saint Mary's up 25-23 with 1:40 left on the clock. Ariana Paul made a pair of free throws with eleven seconds left before the half to put Saint Mary's up by four, the biggest lead of the half by either team, going into the locker rooms.
Coming out of the halftime break, Kelley Murphy and Jessica Centa scored the first two buckets of the half to give Saint Mary's their largest lead at 32-23. Albion, however, responded with five unanswered baskets to turn the eight-point Saint Mary's lead into a two-point Albion advantage. The teams continued to battle for position and possession as the fouls, turnovers, and missed opportunities began to accumulate.
With the game tied 39-39 with 10:40 to go in the second half, Albion went on their first of two runs that proved to be the difference in the game. The Brits scored on four of their next five possessions to jump to an eight-point lead with 8:19 to go. After the Belles scored the next five points of the game to get within 49-46 of Albion with 6:26 remaining, the visitors went on tear with a 20-1 run to take a 23-point advantage by scoring on nine of ten possessions on their way to the eventual 72-52 decision.
Albion made 63.3 percent of their shots in the second half to the Belles' 24.2 percent shooting during that same span.
Patsy Mahoney and Maggie Ronan led Saint Mary's with 10 points each. Mahoney shared game-high honors with six assists while Ronan hit both of her three-point shot attempts.
The Belles (6-9, 2-4 MIAA) will take to the road this Saturday when they compete at Kalamazoo in a 1:00 p.m. tilt with the Hornets.