Belles Downed by Fifth-Ranked Knights
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Saint Mary's basketball team was on the short end of a 73-52 result against fifth-ranked Calvin on Wednesday evening.
The Belles kept close to the Knights early on as Calvin only held as much as a five-point lead throughout much of the first half. Saint Mary's broke through and took a 20-19 lead with 3:22 remaining in the first half on a Kelley Murphy jumper, but Calvin closed out the half with eight straight points for the 27-20 halftime advantage.
Calvin came out of the halftime break and pushed their lead to 14 for the largest advantage of the game to that point. Saint Mary's continued to battle against the Knights, getting within six points of the lead. Murphy and Jessica Centa paired up to score six consecutive points for Saint Mary's to make the game 39-33 with 10:42 remaining. Calvin, however, went on a big 14-0 run to take a 53-33 lead with just over seven minutes to go. The Knights would hold at least a 20-point advantage for the remainder of the contest.
The Belles recovered from a tough first-half shooting performance to make 11-of-25 field goal attempts in the second 20 minutes of play, but Calvin hit better than 60 percent of their attempts from the floor during that same span. A combined sixteen free throws were shot by the two teams on the night - a season low combined total for Saint Mary's this season. The Belles made 8-of-11 while the Knights hit 4-of-5 shots from the charity stripe.
With the win, Calvin clinched the outright MIAA Championship, which means the Belles will return to Grand Rapids next Thursday for the first round of the MIAA Tournament.
Kelley Murphy led Saint Mary's with 12 points on the night. Patsy Mahoney added 11 points and Maggie Ronan had the 45th double-digit scoring game of her career with 10 points for the Belles.
The Belles (12-12, 8-7 MIAA) close out the regular season on Saturday, February 18, at home against Kalamazoo. The five members of the class of 2012 will be recognized before the 3:00 p.m. tip-off against the Hornets.