Shooting Woes Hold Belles Back Against Bulldogs
- Krista Knapke had her sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
- Kelsey Ronan pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds and added seven points and three assists.
- Eleni Shea chipped in nine points.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's offense had a tough time getting shots to fall as the Belles lost a 59-43 conference game at home against Adrian on Wednesday night. The Belles held the Bulldogs to a 34.8 percent (23-of-66) shooting effort, but Saint Mary's was able to connect on just 27.1 percent (16-of-59) of their shots from the floor in the game.
The Belles scored on their first possession of the game with a jumper by Eleni Shea. Kelsey Ronan doubled the score three minutes later to make it a 4-0 game as both offenses struggled to get shots to fall. The Bulldogs put the next eight points on the scoreboard to claim an 8-4 lead with 3:06 on the clock, but the Belles responded with a pair of free throws by Aspen Davis to stay close. A three-pointer by Adrian with a minute left in the period gave the guests a 13-6 lead. Maddie Kohler connected with Ronan on the next possession to make it a five-point game, but the Bulldogs hit a layup in the final 30 seconds to take a 15-8 lead at the first break.
The two sides traded basket for basket through the first five minutes of the second quarter as Krista Knapke and Gabby Crown both got on the scoreboard. Back-to-back threes for Adrian extended the Bulldogs' lead to 13 at 27-14, but the Belles continued to stay within striking distance. Trailing by 12 points in the closing moments of the half, Maddie Kohler went up for a half-court buzzer-beater and was fouled with 0.4 on the clock. The senior sunk all three free throw attempts to make it a 32-23 game at the halftime break.
The third quarter saw the two teams combine to make five shots and one free throw as neither team scored during the opening five minutes of the period. The Belles finally struck first with a jump shot by Kohler to edge within seven points at 32-25. Adrian tallied the next seven points to regain a double-digit lead at 39-25, but Eleni Shea gave Saint Mary's some momentum heading into the final quarter with a second-chance jump shot with five seconds on the clock.
The Belles had the most success on offense during the final ten minutes of play, but unfortunately for the comeback effort, the Bulldogs also posted their highest scoring quarter of the game in the fourth period. Saint Mary's pulled within 12 points of Adrian at 7:56 and 5:25, but a 12-1 run by the Bulldogs made it a 58-35 game with a little over two minutes remaining to put the game out of reach.
Krista Knapke had her sixth double-double of the year with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Kelsey Ronan pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds while notching seven points and three assists. Eleni Shea scored nine points. Maddie Kohler and Erin Maloney each added five points.
The Belles (1-22, 1-13 MIAA) host Kalamazoo for their final home game of the season on Saturday starting at 3:00 p.m. The four members of the senior class will be recognized prior to the start of the game.