Belles Grounded by Cardinals
ADA, Ohio - Otterbein used a 13-3 run late in the second half to take a 74-65 decision over the Saint Mary's basketball team in the Ohio Northern Thanksgiving Classic on Sunday afternoon.
The Belles were in control of much of the first half against the Cardinals. With the game tied at 4-4, Kelley Murphy hit a pair of free throws and Maggie Ronan had a layup off a missed Otterbein three-pointer. The Belles doubled that lead just a few minutes later and extended their advantage to ten points at the 7:09 mark on a layup by Murphy. With 4:33 to go before the half, Patsy Mahoney hit a three-pointer to give Saint Mary's a 27-18 lead. Otterbein, however, outscored the Belles 11-4 over the final four minutes of the half to make the game 31-29 in favor of Saint Mary's at halftime.
Otterbein came out of the break to score the first bucket of the half to tie the game, but Saint Mary's was able to respond with the next six points for a 37-31 lead. The Cardinals knotted the game at 39-39 on a three as neither team would hold more than a six-point advantage until late in the second half. The second period saw the game tied on four occasions while the lead changed hands four times in the final twenty minutes of play.
With the game tied 51-51, Maggie Ronan hit a jump shot in the lane to give Saint Mary's a 53-51 lead. After the teams traded baskets, Otterbein hit a shot to go up 56-55. Kelley Murphy got Saint Mary's within two points of the lead, but the Cardinals scored seven straight points to take a 66-57 advantage. The Belles were able to cut the lead to six points on a three-pointer by Maggie Ronan, but Otterbein scored six consecutive points to put the game away late.
Patsy Mahoney and Maggie Ronan led the Saint Mary's offense with 18 points apiece in the loss. Kelley Murphy had her first double-double of the season with a 14-point, 12-rebound effort for the Belles.
Saint Mary's (2-3) will continue their current stretch of road games as they open up their MIAA schedule on Wednesday, November 30 at Trine. The in-state conference rivalry game will begin at 7:30 p.m.