On Saturday afternoon, with an approaching winter storm heading to mid-Michigan, the Alma College women's basketball team hoped to sweep their own storm down on Saint Mary's College in a MIAA tilt at Art Smith Arena. However, the visiting Belles overcame a 14-point deficit to defeat the Scots by a score of 70-67.
With the loss, Alma is now 0-13 on the season and 0-4 in the MIAA, while Saint Mary's improved to 4-8 in 2013-14 and 2-1 in the league.
Going against was has been the norm this season, the Scots scored the first bucket of the game and never trailed in the first 20 minutes of the game. So. G Kassidi Adams (Montrose/Montrose) hit a three-pointer to start the game and a jumper by her made it an 11-4 game at the 16:27 mark.
Alma maintained a solid lead for the next six minutes but the Belles were consistent in their pursuit of the Scots. After a free throw with 10:50 remaining made the score 17-14 Alma, the Scots made a little run of their own to lead 26-18 on a three-pointer by Jr. G Mallory Pruett (Ishpeming/Ishpeming).
The Scots increased their advantage to 10 points at 33-23 on a lay-up by Fr. F Erica Hansen (Mt. Pleasant/Sacred Heart) with 5:21 left. Alma maintained their lead at about 10 points throughout the remainder of the half and took a 43-29 advantage into halftime as Adams put in a lay-up as the buzzer went off.
The 14 point lead was the biggest of the season for the Scots.
Saint Mary's came out strong in the second half and cut their deficit to 43-38 on a lay-up 1:55 into the frame. However, Alma responded with an 8-0 run to increase the lead to 51-38 when Pruett made a free throw at 15:20.
The Scots still had a 10-point advantage, 61-51, with 8:51 remaining in the contest, but the Belles were lurking. A little over four minutes later, SMC finished off a 13-0 run and took their first lead of the game at 62-61 and then 64-61 at the 4:08 mark.
Alma was a determined bunch on this day and were not going to let it slip away that easily. The Scots had a 67-66 advantage with 1:01 left when So. F Raeanna Zink (Birch Run/Frankenmuth) made a jump shot. However, those would be the last points for the Scots on the afternoon and the Belles scored the final four to earn a hard-fought 70-67 road win.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Scots as they displayed a well-balanced attack. Zink led the way with 14, followed by Adams (13), Hansen (12), Pruett (10) and Fr. G Nicole Green (Portland/Portland), who also had 10. Zink had a double-double as she pulled down 11 boards, while Adams and Hansen each had seven.
As a team, Alma shot 36% (25 of 69), including just four of 20 from beyond the arc (20%). Saint Mary's connected on 27 of 65 attempts (42%) and missed their only three-point attempt. Alma outrebounded the Belles by a margin of 47-42 but had 20 turnovers to SMC's 12.
The Scots next play on Wednesday evening when Albion comes to town for a league contest. Tip-off at Art Smith Arena is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. with the Alma-Calvin men's game to follow.