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Monday, May 20, 2024
The Observer

SMC Basketball: Irish return north to face Eastern Michigan

Saint Mary's hosts Ohio Northern University today for its second home game of the season. The Belles (3-1) defeated North Central 91-57 over the holiday weekend.

Saint Mary's opened up its home season against Anderson University on Nov. 17, defeating the Ravens 72-33. The team's only loss this season came in the first round of the Bluffton University Tip-Off Tournament when it faced Wheaton College. The two teams battled through 13 lead changes and 12 ties until the Thunder ousted the Belles 78-73.

"So far, our offense has been great in games, and the defense has been following behind closely," senior forward Anna Kammrath said. "We are a young team, but with quite a bit of experience."

Among the top returning players this season, all of whom have made strong appearances on the Saint Mary's court thus far, are Kammrath, junior Liz Wade and sophomores Patsy Mahoney and Kelley Murphy.

The sole senior on the team, Kammrath came into the season with 598 rebounds. Four games into the season, the 6-foot forward leads the team with 41 to go along with her 37 points, the fifth-best on the team.

Wade, a junior guard and the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year, was one of the league's leaders in both assists and steals. Thus far, she has 28 assists and 18 steals.

Both Mahoney and Murphy had outstanding freshman seasons for the Belles last year as two of the team's top scorers. Alongside Kammrath, the pair accounted for more than 690 points. Murphy, a forward, leads Saint Mary's in points with 57, as well as having 29 rebounds, second only to Kammrath. Mahoney, a guard follows close behind with 49 points. She also has nine assists this season, second to Wade and tied with newcomer Annie Doyle, a freshman guard.

Murphy scored a team-high 18 points at North Central. Kammrath was not far behind with 14 while leading Saint Mary's with nine rebounds.  Mahoney had 13 as sophomore guard Maggie Ronan put up 12. Wade had a career-high 11 assists in the win, one away from tying a College record.

Coming off one of their most successful season and losing four seniors to graduation, the Belles are continuing their hard work in hopes of besting last season's conference finish of second place.

"Although at times our discipline is not quite there, I have been impressed with the amount of talent on the team," Kammrath said. "We are so deep and that is a great thing to be, especially in our conference. We still need to keep improving on our defense and rebounding, but the season has been exciting so far and I am anticipating great things from us."

The Belles will return to their home court at 7 p.m. as they host the Polar Bears and work to move their record to 4-1.