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Women’s Basketball Drops OT Decision to League-Leading Saint Mary’s

Thursday, January 29, 2009

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Box Score

By Bruce Van Baren (Calvin Sports Information Office Student Assistant)

Sarah Partridge (East Lansing HS) hit a three-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining to force overtime against first-place Saint Mary’s Wednesday night at VanNoord Arena, but the Knights fell to the Belles 72-68 in overtime.

We should have (won) it,” coach John Ross said. “We were right there in overtime. A win would have been huge because we feel like we’re one of the top teams in the league. We needed that lift.”

Saint Mary’s snapped Calvin’s three game winning streak. The Knights (10-7, 5-5 MIAA) drop back to .500 in the MIAA. The Belles (11-7, 8-1 MIAA) remain in first place in the MIAA. Saint Mary’s beat Hope at Angela Athletic Facility and suffered its only loss to Albion.

“It was disappointing because we could have and probably should have won,” Sarah Partridge said. “It would have been a really good win for us.”

Calvin lost to Saint Mary’s for the second time this season and just the second time in the history of the 31 game series that dates back to the 1990-1991 season. Saint Mary’s broke the 29 game losing streak to the Knights with a 79-74 win at Angela Athletic Facility on December 6.

“We played a hundred times better than we did the last time we played them,” Partridge said. “It’s encouraging to see that we are improving, but it is also disappointing to see that we lost it at the end.”

Calvin played in its fourth overtime game of the season. Three of the Knights’ four games inside VanNoord Arena have gone to overtime. Calvin is 2-2 in overtime games and 2-1 in overtime games played inside VanNoord Arena.

“We’re playing in a lot of pressure situations and a lot of tight games,” Ross said. “Hopefully that will pay off later this season in the (MIAA tournament).”

Calvin committed 26 turnovers and gave up 20 offensive rebounds. The Knights shot 34.2 percent from the field and 9 of 30 from three-point range.

“Turnovers kill you,” Ross said. “We just can’t turn the ball over as many times as we did. We need to be just a little quicker on our decisions offensively and defensively we didn’t quite guard them as well as we should have.”

Calvin’s full-court press held Saint Mary’s league best offense well below its 76.8 points-per-game average. The Belles shot 39.5% and were 0 of 11 from beyond the arc.

“We were trying to get our hands on a lot of balls to see if we can create havoc,” Ross said.

The Knights extended a 32-31 halftime lead to a 39-33 lead, Calvin’s largest of the game, after Courtney Kurnz (St. Johns HS) hit a three-pointer with 17:53 left in the game. Calvin went 3 of 14 from three-point range in the first half, but hit six of 16 from beyond the arc in the second half.

Calvin led most of the second half, but Anna Kammrath gave the Belles a 52-51 lead with 7:35 remaining. The Belles built the lead to seven points after layups by Liz Wade and Erin Newsom.

Kristi Brummel (South Christian) hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to four. Brummel stole the ensuing inbound pass to set up Kurncz’s jumper that cut the Saint Mary’s lead to 62-60 with 2:37 remaining. Newsom hit one of two free throws to put the Belles up 63-60.

Partridge, who is a 38-percent three-point shooter, hit the game tying triple just before the buzzer. Partridge also hit a game tying three-pointer against Adrian to force overtime on January 17 and against Adrian a year ago in the Knights’ finale in the Fieldhouse.

“Sarah is not afraid to put up shots in a pressure situation,” Ross said. “It takes a special kind of person to put up those kinds of shots.”

Brooke Van Eck (Lowell HS) led Calvin with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Kurncz added 11 points, one shy of her career high, while Partridge and Jill Thomas (West Catholic) each scored 10 points. Thomas’s double-digit effort was a career high.

Patsy Mahoney, Newsom, Kammrath and Kelley Murphy each scored a game-high 13 points. Maggie Ronan was the fifth Belle in double figures with 12 points.

“The positive side (of the loss) is that I really like our freshman,” Ross said. “Courtney (Kurncz) is going to be a very good player and Jill Thomas had a really, really good game. That was good to see.”

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