Belles Stumble Against Bulldogs
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team made a late push to erase a six-point deficit in the final 1:30 of the game, but the comeback bid fell short as visiting Adrian won a 63-59 contest on Wednesday night.
After the Belles took an early 6-2 lead, the Bulldogs scored 15 of the next 19 points to snag a 17-10 lead nine-and-a-half minutes into the game. During that 15-4 run, Adrian came away with points on six of eight possessions in a five-minute span of play. Saint Mary's returned the favor with a run of their own by outscoring the Bulldogs 13-4 to regain the lead at 23-21 with 6:03 left before the half. Katherine Wabler, Shanlynn Bias, Maddie Kohler, and Emily Page all hit at least one shot during that run to give the Belles the momentum late in the half. Saint Mary's had a response each time Adrian scored over the final minutes of the opening period as the Belles took a 31-28 advantage into the break.
Saint Mary's continued to maintain their lead to open the second half. The Belles limited the second-chance opportunities early in the second period while extending their lead to seven at 48-41 with 11:42 remaining.
From there, Adrian would chip away at the Belles' lead as they ate up 10 minutes of the half with an 18-5 run for a 59-53 lead with 1:37 to go. Saint Mary's did not go quietly late in the game as Eleni Shea made four straight points to pull the Belles within 59-57 in the final minute of play. The Belles appeared to come up with the defensive stand they needed, but the Bulldogs scrapped their way to two offensive rebounds on the ensuing possession resulting in a good layup with 17 seconds left in the game.
Saint Mary's pushed the ball up the floor quickly, and Kayla Wolter hit a pull-up jump shot in the lane to once again make the game a one-possession affair at 61-59 with 11 seconds left. The Bulldogs converted a one-and-one free throw opportunity, and the ensuing in-bound play saw the ball fall into the hands of an Adrian player as the Belles' efforts came up just short for the 63-59 final.
Shanlynn Bias led all players with 18 points. Eleni Shea pulled in her second collegiate double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds while Katherine Wabler narrowly missed out on a double-double with 12 points and a career-high nine boards for the Belles. Kayla Wolter added a career-high and game-best five assists, and Maddie Kohler notched four dimes on the night for Saint Mary's.
The Belles (5-14, 3-7 MIAA) return to action this weekend when they host Kalamazoo on Saturday, January 23 at 3:00 p.m.