Belles' Comeback Stopped by Scots
ALMA, Mich. - Trailing by 21 points with 8:16 remaining, the Saint Mary's basketball team went on a 15-0 run to pull within 67-61 with two minutes left. Host Alma halted the comeback for the 72-61 decision.
The Belles jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead on baskets by Shanlynn Bias and Eleni Shea. Alma scored six of the next seven points to make it a 7-6 game with the Belles clinging to the lead. The game remained a one-possession contest with the lead going back and forth before the Scots got six points in-a-row for a 16-11 lead. Still down by five, Saint Mary's made back-to-back jump shots by Shea and Kayla Wolter to pull the Belles within 22-21 with 9:42 left in the period. Alma did not relinquish the lead while going up by 13 at the break with a 41-28 advantage.
The Scots extended their lead to a game-high 21 points with 8:16 left in the game. That is when the Belles dug deep and made a big run to get right back into the game. Saint Mary's pressured Alma on both ends of the court as they forced the Scots into seven turnovers and drew five fouls over the next six minutes of play to help kick start their run. Seven made free throws by Shanlynn Bias and Kayla Wolter and four good shots from the floor by Eleni Shea, Katherine Wabler, and Krista Knapke made the game a 67-61 affair with 2:19 remaining.
An offensive rebound and second-chance layup by Alma put a halt to the 15-0 run and pushed the Scots' lead to eight. Alma then snagged a defensive rebound and hit their ensuing free throws after a foul by the Belles to regain a 10-point lead with 1:47 on the clock. The Belles were only able to muster a free throw over the final minute and a half of the game as Alma took the 71-62 final.
Shanlynn Bias led all players in the game with 18 points and four steals. Krista Knapke picked up her second double-double of the year with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Eleni Shea added a double-digit scoring effort with 14 points.
The Belles (5-19, 3-12 MIAA) will conclude their season on Wednesday, February 13 when they host Hope at 7:30 p.m.