Belles' Late Surge Squelched by Thunder
ANGOLA, Ind. - A 14-1 run by the Belles late in the second half pulled the Saint Mary's basketball team within 53-51 of Trine, but the comeback bid fell short as the host Thunder prevailed 63-57 on Wednesday evening.
Over the first 10 minutes of the game, the Belles established the edge on their way to a 15-7 lead. Trine cut the lead down to two points at 16-14, but Saint Mary's responded with a good jump shot by Shanlynn Bias and a pair of free throws by Sarah Macius to extend the advantage to six points. A quick 9-0 run by the Thunder over the next two minutes of action turned that lead into a three-point disadvantage with 5:35 remaining before the halftime break.
After a pair of tied scores, Trine took a five-point lead on a jump shot in the paint with 11 seconds left on the clock. The Belles countered at the end of the period with a second-chance layup by Emily Page just before time expired to set the score at 31-28 in favor of the Thunder at the half.
The Belles opened the second half with a good jump shot by Bias on their first possession to make the game a 31-30 affair. Trine responded with a 15-2 run over the next six minutes of play to open a 14-point lead against Saint Mary's.
The Thunder pushed their lead to 15 midway through the second half, but the Belles yet again showed that they were not going to go down without a battle. Krista Knapke scored four buckets and Kayla Wolter added a good jump shot and four made free throws on as many attempts to spearhead a 14-1 run by the Belles over the next seven-and-a-half minutes of play as Saint Mary's cut within 53-51 of Trine with 2:32 to go.
Trine hit a three-pointer on their next possession to go up by five, but Knapke was not quite done helping to keep the Belles in the game as she scored a layup on a pass from Wolter. Back-to-back made baskets by Trine, however, proved to be too much to overtake in the final two minutes of the game as the Thunder led by at least five points over the last 62 seconds of the game.
Shanlynn Bias led Saint Mary's with 15 points. Kayla Wolter had career-highs for points (13) and steals (4) while matching her career-best mark of five assists. Krista Knapke added 12 points for the Belles on the night, all of which came in the final 10 minutes of the game.
The Belles (5-16, 3-9 MIAA) travel to Albion on Saturday, February 2, for a 3:00 p.m. MIAA contest against the Brits.