Saturday afternoon saw the Alma College women's basketball team travel to Saint Mary's to take on the Belles in a MIAA contest. The Scots trailed the home team by a score of 39-33 at halftime en route to dropping a 72-61 decision.
With the loss, the Scots fell to 0-24 on the season and 0-15 in the MIAA, while the Belles improved to 5-9 in the league and 7-16 overall in 2013-14.
"We played a good game today but we had too many turnovers," said Scots Head Coach Keisha Brown. "The team stayed together and pushed the entire game, but Saint Mary's capitalized on our turnovers. We will take tomorrow off and come back Monday to prepare for Adrian as the season is not over yet."
The two teams played a very competitive first half and after an early Saint Mary's lead, the Scots went ahead 7-6 on a three-pointer by Jr. G Mallory Pruett (Ishpeming/Ishpeming) at the 17:11 mark of the first half. Alma then led by three points after a jump shot by Fr. F Erica Hansen (Mt. Pleasant/Sacred Heart) made it 13-10 with 12:24 remaining in the half.
Saint Mary's then embarked on a 8-2 run to lead 18-15 at the 9:17 mark but the Scots would have three more leads of their own in the first half, but never more two points. Overall, there were 10 total lead changes in the first 20 minutes, and the Belles had their biggest advantage at six points, 39-33, at halftime after another 8-2 run to close out the frame.
The Belles led 43-33 two minutes into the second half and then extended it to 50-35 as the home team outscored the Scots by an 11-2 margin in the first 7:05 of the final frame. The Belles still led by 16 at 56-40 at the 11:27 mark before the never-say-die Scots made a run at their hosts.
Over the next 4:22 of the game, the Scots went on a 12-0 run and cut their deficit to four at 56-52 after two made free throws by Pruett. But, that is the closest the team would come on this day. Over the next three minutes, SMC went on an 8-2 run to open the gap back up to 10 at 64-54 at the 4:09 mark.
A lay-up by So. F Raeanna Zink (Birch Run/Frankenmuth) cut the advantage to 64-58 with 3:25 left, but the Belles outscored Alma by a margin of 8-3 the rest of the way to earn the hard-fought 72-61 victory over the Scots.
Pruett paced the Scots with 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, while Zink was next with 12 points and nine boards. In addition, Hansen finished with 11 points in the Alma loss. As a team, the Scots shot 38% (24 of 62) from the field, including six of 17 from beyond the three-point arc. Saint Mary's finished the contest at 43% (33 of 76) and did not attempt a three-pointer in the game.
Alma had 26 turnovers to 17 for the Belles, and SMC outrebounded the Scots by a margin of 45-40 during the game.
Alma will try to avoid having the first winless season in program history when they travel to Adrian next Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.