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Sunday, March 3, 2024
The Observer

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Belles’ offense rebounds but defense fails to shut down Kalamazoo

Saint Mary's basketball sits in seventh in the MIAA after losing to Kalamazoo.

Saturday's game against Kalamazoo was one step forward and one step back for Saint Mary's basketball. After struggling to score in the latter half of January, the team delivered a strong offensive performance, putting up 70 points on the Hornets. However, the Belles' defense wasn't able to hold Kalamazoo down, with the Hornets defending their home court in a 80-70 win.

While the Belles' offense was better on the whole, it took them a while to get going. Senior guard Elle Deardorff made a layup to get the team on the board 2:57 in, but Saint Mary's wouldn't hit another field goal for nearly 10 minutes. By that point, Kalamazoo had already built up a double-digit lead and would go on to complete a wire-to-wire win.

But the Belles wouldn't go down without a fight. After shooting 6.3% in the first quarter (1-16), Saint Mary's shot a much improved 36.5% (23-63) the rest of the way. After recording just one 20-point quarter in their four-game losing streak, the Belles recorded two on Saturday, putting up 21 points in the second quarter and 27 in the fourth. However, the Belles never found their stroke from 3-point range, going just 2-10. They were able to shrink the gap thanks to attempting 18 more field goals than their opponents and winning the turnover battle 21-15.

Ultimately, it wasn't enough to prevent their losing streak from reaching five games. The Belles have now surrendered at least 79 points in four straight games. The loss drops the team to 5-16 overall and 2-10 in conference play. Kalamazoo's win was its first conference victory of the season in 12 MIAA games.

The Belles will have a chance to get back in the win column Wednesday night when they face Olivet at 6 p.m. Olivet is sixth in the MIAA with a 5-8 conference mark and overall record of 8-14.

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