Second Half Scoring Woes Plague Belles Against Comets

Box Score

  • Krista Knapke had her third double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Sarah Macius added 13 points.
  • Maddie Kohler led all players with five assists to go along with three steals.

OLIVET, Mich. - After opening the game with solid output by the offense, the Saint Mary's basketball team had a tough time getting baskets to fall in the final 20 minutes as the Belles fell by a 61-48 final in their conference opener against Olivet.

In the opening period, the Belles broke a 6-6 tie with five consecutive points by Gabby Diamond and Eleni Shea for an 11-6 lead with under three minutes left on the clock. The Comets responded by taking a 12-11 lead, but Maddie Kohler drained a deep three-pointer to put Saint Mary's ahead 14-12 at the first break.

That three-pointer kick-started the Belles' offense as Saint Mary's opened the second quarter with a 10-0 run for a 24-12 advantage. Erin Maloney, Sarah Macius, Krista Knapke, and Diamond all contributed points to the run. The Comets, however, responded with a 17-4 run over the final four minutes of the first half to pull ahead 29-28 at halftime.

Saint Mary's came out of the break and hit a pair of buckets to reclaim a 32-29 lead. The teams went back-and-forth as Shea and Macius put the Belles ahead 36-33 with 5:25 left in the third quarter. A stretch of turnovers coupled with some unfriendly bounces off the rim by Saint Mary's gave the Comets the opportunity to go on an 11-0 run over the final five minutes of the quarter as Olivet led 44-36 going into the final 10 minutes of play.

A second-chance layup by Macius after an offensive rebound by Knapke made it a 44-38 game with 8:43 on the clock in the fourth quarter, but the Comets ballooned their lead to 18 points over the next six and a half minutes for a 59-41 edge with 2:06 left in the contest. The Belles continued to battle late in the game, but the clock was not friendly to a comeback attempt as the Comets claimed the 61-48 final.

The Belles connected on 42.3 percent (11-of-26) shots from the floor in the opening half before hitting just 23.1 percent (6-of-26) of their field goals in the second half of play. Saint Mary's held a 26-24 scoring advantage in points in the paint. Despite committing one less turnover (18) than the Comets (19), Olivet made the most of the extra possessions by scoring 26 points off of turnovers to the Belles' eight points in the same category.

Krista Knapke had her third consecutive double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sarah Macius added 13 points. Maddie Kohler led all players with five assists to go along with three steals. Kelsey Ronan and Gabby Diamond each chipped in six points for the Belles.

The Belles (0-6, 0-1 MIAA) travel to Benedictine on Wednesday for a 7:00 p.m. CST game against the Eagles.