Belles Tripped Up By Comets
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team lost a 74-54 conference game against Olivet at home on Wednesday evening.
The Belles built an early edge against the Comets with a 7-4 lead on an Eleni Shea jump shot four-and-a-half minutes into the game, but neither team mounted a sizable lead throughout the first 20 minutes of play.
With the score knotted at 13-13 as the opening half hit its midway mark, Saint Mary's posted seven of the next nine points scored to claim their largest lead at 20-15 with 8:24 remaining. Olivet pulled within a point of the Belles with back-to-back layups, but Saint Mary's regained a five-point cushion with baskets by Gabby Diamond and Krista Knapke.
Each team seemed to have a response for the other throughout the first half as the Comets came back to tie the game at 26-26 and 28-28 before gaining their first lead in more than 10 minutes of play at 30-28 with 2:05 on the clock.
Shea converted the three-point play on the Belles' next possession to put Saint Mary's ahead 31-30. The Comets, however, closed out the remaining 1:54 of the half with a pair of jump shots to take a 34-31 lead into the break.
The Belles came out strong in the second half with an 8-0 run over the first two minutes of play to regain a five-point lead at 39-34. Diamond, Ariana Paul, Shea, and Maddie Kohler each accounted for a basket as the Belles showed a well-balanced offensive effort.
That same offense found the buckets hard to come by over the next ten minutes despite the Belles getting some good looks at the basket. Olivet went on a decisive 16-0 run to turn the tables and go ahead 50-39 with 10:57 left in the period.
Krista Knapke snapped the scoring drought for Saint Mary's with a layup off an offensive rebound with 10:39 to go to make it a 50-41 game, but the Belles were unable to come up with more answers to the Comets as Olivet pushed their lead to 19 at 64-45 with 5:31 remaining in the game.
A late push by Saint Mary's saw the Belles put together a 7-2 scoring spurt to make it 65-52 with 3:09 left, but the Comets put the game out of reach by responding with nine consecutive points on their way to the 74-54 final.
Eleni Shea led the team with 15 points and seven rebounds. Krista Knapke added 10 points. Molly Robinson posted nine points, and Gabby Diamond chipped in seven for the Belles.
The Belles (3-14, 1-7 MIAA) travel to Alma to start the second round of conference play on Saturday, January 24. Saint Mary's faces off against the Scots at 7:00 p.m.