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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The Observer

SMC Basketball: Belles get easy win over Kalamazoo

Saint Mary's had a breakout offensive performance Saturday en route to an easy victory over Kalamazoo, winning 91-52.

Saint Mary's (12-9, 7-6 MIAA) had an attack mentality from the beginning of the game, pushing the ball up the court on offense and harassing Kalamazoo (1-18, 1-12) on the defensive end.

"I think we had a big week in terms of picking up two conference wins," Belles coach Jennifer Henley said. "I thought we played well at both ends of the floor."

Saint Mary's went up by 10 points just over three minutes into the game and continued to widen the gap, breaking the game beyond a 20-point margin halfway through the first half on sophomore guard Patsy Mahoney's 3-pointer. Though the Hornets fought back to a 16-point deficit, the Belles would not let up and took a 55-25 lead into the half.

The second half was more of the same, although Saint Mary's slowed the scoring somewhat. The Belles continued to dominate both phases of play, never letting the Hornets get closer than 29 points.

Saint Mary's spread the points around with five players finishing in double digits. Sophomore forward Jessica Centa led with 18 points. Every Belle that entered the game scored at least two points. The Belles shot 48.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

In addition to spreading the ball around, the Belles excelled Saturday on the offensive glass, rebounding 22 of their own misses and earning 25 second-chance points; this was their best performance in terms of offensive rebounding. Henley, however, was still concerned about the Belles' ball security.

"We need to focus on cutting down our turnovers as we prepare for Wheaton and Hope this week," she said. "We have played each team once already this season and came up short. There's no doubt we will be challenged."

The Belles next play Saturday at Hope in Holland, Mich.