2015-16 Basketball Outlook
A new season and new opportunities await the Saint Mary’s basketball team in the 2015-16 season. Eight returning players lead a pair of newcomers as the Belles aim to make a name for themselves in the MIAA this winter.
Krista Knapke ’16, Maddie Kohler ’16, Eleni Shea ’16, and Sarah Macius ’16 are key to the team’s success this season for what they bring in leadership on and off the court. The four have combined to play nearly 7,000 minutes and have scored almost 2,000 points through their first three seasons.
Knapke and Shea are the team’s top returning scores from a year ago as each averaged over 10 points per contest last winter. Knapke averaged 10.8 points per game during her junior season while pulling down 158 rebounds in 25 contests (6.3 rpg). Shea, meanwhile, had her highest scoring season to date a year ago and averaged 11.2 ppg while making 107 of her 137 (78.1 percent) free throws to lead the team.
Kohler and Macius each improved their scoring, steals, and assists from their sophomore to junior season. Kohler chipped in 4.3 ppg last year and hit better than 73 percent of her free throws while leading the team with 60 assists. Macius nearly doubled her scoring output from her sophomore campaign last winter while posting the most steals in a single season in her collegiate career to date.
Kelsey Ronan ’17, Gabby Diamond ’18, Kelsey Trimble ’18, and Gabby Crown ’18 all return to the hardwood for the Belles in the 2015-16 season. Ronan and Diamond averaged more than 10 minutes per game last season while making over 20 appearances each. All four will be looked toward for increased contributions to the team this year.
Joining the Belles this season are Erin Maloney ’19 and Caroline Macius ’19. Maloney was a three-time Defensive MVP for her IC Catholic Prep team while setting the program’s single season and career steals record. Macius, meanwhile, earned the Viking Pride Award while playing at William Fremd.
The Belles have a tough slate of competition once again in the 2015-16 season as Saint Mary’s squares off against four teams ranked in the WBCA Top 25 preseason poll – Wheaton, Calvin, Hope, and Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Additionally, North Central received multiple votes in the same poll.
Saint Mary’s opens the season on Tuesday, November 17 when they travel to North Park for a 7:00 p.m. CST game against the Vikings. The team returns to the Land of Lincoln the following weekend to face off against Wheaton and UW-Oshkosh at Wheaton’s annual Beth Baker Classic. Saint Mary’s holds their home opener on Tuesday, November 24 against Anderson at 7:30 p.m. The Belles kick off conference competition on Saturday, December 5 when they travel to Calvin.