Belles Fend Off Brits for Victory

Box Score

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team sustained a second-half surge by visiting Albion to claim a 70-67 win at home on Saturday.

The Belles opened up the game by hitting their first four shots to hold an 8-2 edge through the first 3:24 of action. Albion hit a second-chance layup with 9:28 to go in the half to trail 20-18. Saint Mary's responded by scoring 22 of the next 29 points over the remainder of the opening period as the Belles led 42-25 at the break. The 17-point halftime lead was the biggest halftime advantage for the Belles of the season as Saint Mary's hit 58.3 percent (14-of-24) of their attempts from the floor through the first 20 minutes of play.

Saint Mary's extended their lead to 24 points on a three-point-play by Shanlynn Bias at the 12:42 mark in the second period for the largest advantage of the game. After their blistering start from the floor, the Belles ran into trouble getting shots to fall. Saint Mary's made just six of their final 19 shots from the floor while Albion was successful on 11 of their final 21 attempts in the game.

With the Belles up 67-59 with 1:42 to go, Albion made four free throws and jump shot in the paint to pull within 67-65. Bernadette Jordan drew a foul on the other end and hit her first of two free throws to put Saint Mary's up 68-65 with 19 seconds left. A second-chance layup by the Brits made it a 68-67 affair with six seconds remaining in the contest. The ball bounced the Belles' way on Saint Mary's ensuing possession as the ball deflected off an Albion defender right into Shanlynn Bias's hands, who then found a wide open Sarah Macius for a fastbreak layup just before time expired to lift Saint Mary's to the 70-67 win.

The victory snaps a six-game skid for Saint Mary's as the Belles posted the most points in a game this season since their 75-73 win over Illinois College to open the season. Their 48.1 percent shooting effort from the floor marks a season-high for the Belles in the 2012-13 campaign.

Shanlynn Bias led the Belles with 19 points and a career-high seven assists. Eleni Shea added 14 points and a game-best nine rebounds.

The Belles (4-11, 2-4 MIAA) return to their home court again when they host in-state MIAA rival Trine on Wednesday, January 9 at 7:30 p.m.