Belles Fall in Heartbreaker Against Cardinals
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team saw a pair of game-winning shots go just off the mark as the Belles lost 90-89 against North Central on Saturday.
The 89-point output is the most in a loss for the Belles since dropping a 113-92 decision against IUSB in the 1996-97 season. It is also the first time that Saint Mary's has scored more than 80 points and lost a game since a 99-83 loss at home against Defiance in the 1998-99 season.
The Belles kept the third-highest scoring team in NCAA Division III women's basketball quiet through the first ten minutes of play. Saint Mary's opened the game by scoring 12 of the first 14 points to post a 12-2 lead less than four minutes into play. After the teams traded buckets over the next two minutes, North Central managed back-to-back baskets for the first time of the game with a layup and a three-pointer to pull within 16-11 with 13:32 on the clock.
Saint Mary's came right back with three shots in-a-row as Maddie Kohler, Shanlynn Bias, and Timoney Moyer all drained buckets in the paint to give the Belles the 22-11 advantage. A minute and a half later, Saint Mary's took what proved to be the largest lead of the game for either team on a layup by Bias that gave the Belles the 26-13 advantage with 10:37 to go in the opening period.
The Cardinals went on their largest run of the half with a seven-point spurt with a pair of layups and a three-pointer in a span of 1:06 to cut within a single point (41-40) of the Belles' lead. After Katherine Wabler kept the Belles in the lead with back-to-back baskets, North Central completed a three-point play with 39 seconds in the first half to tie the game at 45-45.
The Belles opened up the second half with seven points in-a-row to claim a 52-45 lead less than a minute into the period on a three-point play by Eleni Shea sandwiched by layups by Bias and Moyer.
Saint Mary's continued to hold the advantage until a 9-0 run by the Cardinals gave North Central their largest lead of the game at 77-72 with 7:45 remaining. The Belles responded by out-scoring the Cardinals by a 16-4 margin while taking up more than six minutes of game time to go up 87-81 with 1:42 left.
After North Central made a layup with a minute-and-a-half to go, the Cardinals' pressure forced the Belles in to committing three turnovers. Two of those turnovers resulted in four points resulting in the fourth tie of the game at 87-87 with less than a minute left on the clock.
On the Belles' next possession, Heather Pesigan hit a floater in the lane on a feed from Bias to put Saint Mary's up 89-87 with 21 seconds left in the half. The Cardinals quickly put the ball in play and, after a swing pass to the left side of the court, hit a three-pointer with 11 seconds remaining.
The Belles had two looks at a potential game winning shot in the final moments of the game. Shanlynn Bias pushed the ball up the court and had a jump shot in the lane bounce off the rim, while Ariana Paul's follow-up tip attempt was wide in the final two seconds of the game.
Saint Mary's held a 70-58 advantage over North Central in points in the paint while also out-rebounding the Cardinals 57-44.
Shanlynn Bias matched her career-high and led all players with 20 points while adding six assists. Krista Knapke posted her third double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds while dishing out a career-best six assists. Eleni Shea added 13 points for the Belles. Timoney Moyer had season-best numbers with 12 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. Ariana Paul and Katherine Wabler each chipped in nine points and 10 rebounds.
The Belles (2-6) have a break from action and return to play when they host Trine in an MIAA match up on Saturday, December 14 at 3:00 p.m.