Belles Stopped Short by Brits in Season Finale
- Krista Knapke had 12 points and 12 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season.
- Eleni Shea added 12 points, and Sarah Macius scored 10.
- Maddie Kohler chipped in eight points.
ALBION, Mich. - The Saint Mary's basketball team had an early scoring drought that was too much to overcome in a 75-51 loss at Albion in the final game of the season on Saturday.
After three scoreless minutes to open the game, Albion recorded the first 14 points of the afternoon to mount a sizable lead 7:14 into play. Krista Knapke put the Belles on the scoreboard with a free throw, and Erin Maloney and Maddie Kohler hit the final two shots of the quarter to make it a 16-5 score at the first break.
Knapke tallied the first two buckets of the second quarter for the Belles to cut the deficit to 10 points at 19-9 with 6:38 on the clock. The Brits, however, used a quick spurt of offense to push the lead to 17 at 28-11 with 4:36 remaining. Saint Mary's continued to battle and played neck-and-neck with Albion for the final four minutes of the quarter as the score stood at 34-16 at the halftime break. In just the second quarter, the Belles had an 8-3 edge over the Brits in second-chance points.
Albion opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run, but the Belles continued to show the same resolve and determination they have all season while continuing to fight. Saint Mary's outscored the Brits 8-2 over the last 3:15 of the quarter - including a three-pointer by Maddie Kohler and points by Knapke and Sarah Macius - to make it a 48-27 game heading into the final period.
Despite getting several good looks at the basket in the fourth quarter, the Belles were able to connect on just three of 12 field goal attempts during the first five minutes of the period as Albion extended their lead to 31 points at 65-34. Refusing to go quietly, Saint Mary's rattled off nine straight points late in the half. Eleni Shea hit a jumper, Sarah Macius picked up a steal at mid-court and drained the breakaway layup before adding another jumper, and Gabby Crown drained a three-pointer to make it 71-48 with 1:06 to go. Maddie Kohler added a three-pointer late, but the comeback rally ran out of time in the 75-51 final.
Albion posted a 43.7 percent (31-of-71) field goal percentage to the 30.0 percent (18-of-60) field goal percentage by Saint Mary's. Twenty-five turnovers by the Belles yielded 22 points for the Brits while the 16 Albion turnovers led to nine points for Saint Mary's.
Krista Knapke led all players with 12 rebounds and added 12 points for her fourth consecutive double-double and eighth double-double of the season. Eleni Shea matched Knapke's scoring output with 12 points. Sarah Macius turned on the offense in the second half of play with nine points over the final 20 minutes of play to end the game with 10 points while collecting three steals. Maddie Kohler added eight points.
The Belles conclude the season with a 1-24 overall record and a 1-15 mark in MIAA play.