Late Comeback Comes Up Short as Belles Fall to Beavers
WHEATON, Ill. - Down by nine points with 2:12 remaining, the Saint Mary's basketball team made it a one-possession game in the final minute but came up short in the late rally effort as the Belles lost 87-83 to Buena Vista (Iowa) on Friday.
The Belles were in control of much of the opening 20 minutes of play. Midway through the first period, Sarah Macius put Saint Mary's up 18-9 on a three-pointer. With just under six minutes left on the clock, the Belles claimed their largest lead of the game on a fastbreak jumper by Eleni Shea to go up 31-20.
Saint Mary's matched that 11-point advantage on their next possession on another Shea basket. Over the final five minutes of the first half, the Belles had an answer for everything the Beavers threw their way as Saint Mary's took a 45-36 advantage into the halftime break.
The game took a shift as Buena Vista opened up the second half by out-scoring the Belles by a 20-9 margin over the first seven minutes of play to go up 56-54. The teams continued to battle back and forth until the Beavers pulled ahead for good with an 11-1 run capped off by a three-pointer with 5:23 on the clock.
Saint Mary's refused to go down easily, however. Trailing by nine points with 2:12 left in the game, the Belles scored at least a point on their next four possessions while forcing the Beavers into a pair of turnovers. That stretch of a minute and twelve seconds translated into the Belles pulling within 84-81 with 1:00 left in the second period. Buena Vista converted both attempts on their next visit to the charity stripe to regain a five-point cushion, but a Krista Knapke layup made it an 85-83 affair with 31 seconds remaining.
The Beavers hit one of two free throws with 11 seconds on the clock, but the Belles' late comeback ran out of time as Saint Mary's was unable to translate their next possession into any points to fall by the 87-83 final margin.
Buena Vista out-scored Saint Mary's in points off of turnovers, points in the paint, second-chance points, and fastbreak points. Both teams made 32 of 71 shots from the floor for matching 45.1 field goal percentages.
Eleni Shea led the Belles with 15 points while classmate Krista Knapke chipped in 13 points. Shanlynn Bias scored 11 points and had a team-best three steals. Ariana Paul added 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Timoney Moyer picked up eight assists as everyone in the Belles' lineup scored at least one bucket on the night.
The Belles (1-2) take on host Wheaton (Ill.) on day two of the Thunder's Beth Baker Classic at 4:00 p.m CST on Saturday.