SMC Basketball: Belles look to play through injuries
BY HEATHER VAN HOEGARDEN
Although it is impossible for Saint Mary's (5-17, 1-10 in the MIAA) to win the MIAA conference title, pride is still at stake for the Belles coming into Saturday's home contest.
Saint Mary's enters Saturday's game against Calvin with some uncertainty, as leading scorer Emily Creachbaum (12.6 points, 6.0 rebounds per game) is still questionable with an ankle injury. Looking to pick up the scoring slack has been Bridget Boyce (7.3 points per game), Anne Hogan (7.3 points) and Emily Pernotto (5.6 points per game).
Meanwhile, Calvin will counter with a well-balanced attack in which no players average double figures. Junior forward Kim Wolthuis leads the way for the Knights, averaging 9.5 points per game on 47 percent shooting. Senior guard Tricia Dyk (9.2 points, 2.5 assists, 2.7 steals per game), senior center Emily Beard (9.2 points, 8.4 rebounds per game) and sophomore guard Kristen McDonald (9 points, 2.1 assists per game) all contribute as well for Calvin (13-9, 4-7).
The last time these two teams met, the Knights outshone the Belles, winning 64-50 despite 21 turnovers. Beard and McDonald led the Knights, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively. As a team, Calvin shot 53.3 percent from the field, dominating Saint Mary's, as the Belles have learned that it is tough to win in the MIAA shooting under 40 percent from the field.
Regardless, in the midst of a ten game losing streak that dates back to Jan. 8, the Belles are ready for a win on Saturday.
"Since Calvin doesn't just have one good player, we have to focus on defense," Boyce said. "If we concentrate on defense, then our offense will come naturally, and we will be fine."
Saint Mary's has something to build on after Wednesday's game. Despite the loss, the Belles played well, as they were led by Pernotto's nine points. Even though the Belles shot only 32 percent from the field, they rebounded well, pulling down 41 boards as a team.
"We have been getting good shots," Boyce said. "They just haven't been falling."
Saturday's game is the perfect opportunity for the Belles to salvage their season, as the Knights are a beatable team, despite the fact that they are tied for fifth in the MIAA. They come off an 88-72 loss to Hope, extending their losing streak to two games.
The Belles are eager to play Saturday, as they are ready for a win.
"We just need to keep shooting and looking inside," Boyce said. "We will be fine."
Saint Mary's and Calvin square off at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Angela Athletic Facility.
All Sports Stories for Friday, February 14, 2003