Balanced Offense Lifts Belles Over Spartans

Box Score

WESTERVILLE, Ohio - Four different members of the Saint Mary's basketball team scored at least 12 points as the Belles defeated Case Western 66-48 in the first game of the 2011 Otterbein Smokey Ballenger Classic on Wednesday.

Case scored the first bucket of the game, but the Belles responded by scoring 16 of the next 20 points for a 16-6 lead with 14:07 on the clock. Patsy Mahoney hit a three pointer to give the Belles that 10-point lead, which was the 100th made three point shot of her career. With a pair of made free throws, the Spartans got within eight points at 16-8. Saint Mary's responded with a 14-3 run to push their lead to 19 with just over five minutes remaining before the half.

From that point onward, the Belles held at least an 11-point advantage over the Spartans.

The Saint Mary's offense was clicking against the Spartans as the team made 50 percent of their shots from the floor, 71 percent of their three point shot attempts, and 95 percent of their free throw attempts. The Belles made 19 of 20 trips to the charity stripe and did not miss an attempt until there was just 2:45 remaining in the contest. Case, meanwhile, made 26 percent of their shots from the floor, 33 percent of their three point attempts, and 57 percent of their free throws.

Kelley Murphy led all players with 23 points while adding a game-high four steals. The senior was three points off of her career high of 26. Classmates Patsy Mahoney, Maggie Ronan, and Jessica Centa added 12 points apiece for the Belles in the win. Mahoney also notched five assists, which moved the senior into fifth place all-time in career assists.

The Belles (4-7) will face Bluffton in day two action at the Smokey Ballenger Classic with tip-off slated for 1:00 p.m. at Otterbein.