Scots Beat Belles, Clinch Postseason Berth

Scots Beat Belles, Clinch Postseason Berth

Notre Dame, Ind. – The Alma College women's basketball team (13-11, 8-7 MIAA) defeated Saint Mary's College (IN), 65-49, in the Scots' final regular season road game. Senior forward Madeline Barnauskas (Livonia, Mich. / Dearborn Divine Child) scored a season-high and game-high 22 points on nine-of-18 shooting from the field. Alma and Saint Mary's both clinched postseason berths but the Scots secured a home quarterfinal game in the conference tournament. 

What Happened

  • It was a defensive battle with neither team able to record a point in the first 3:22 of the game. Freshman guard Oretha Humphries (Detroit, Mich. / Detroit Edison Public) got the Scots on the board with a layup off a Belles (10-14, 7-8 MIAA) turnover. The next time a score would occur would be more than two minutes later where junior guard Madison Hill (Midland, Mich. / Bullock Creek) dished out a dime to freshman guard Stasha Warchock (Marquette, Mich. / Marquette) who got the bucket. From there the Scots would score another 10 points in the following three minutes to take an early 14-0 lead. 
  • The Scots defensive run of not allowing a single point to open the game ended with just under a minute to play in the first. Sophomore forward Emily Eldridge (Battle Creek, Mich. / Battle Creek Lakeview) was able to draw a foul with a second left on the clock in the period. Eldridge knocked down both shots from the free throw line as Alma led 16-6 at the end of opening quarter. 
  • Alma got back on a 12-4 run in the early portion of the second to take a 16-point lead. The run was fueled by a pair of threes on back-to-back possessions by Barnauskas. After the Belles cut the difference back down to single digits, Warchock and Barnuaskas each answered with jumper. The Scots led, 32-23, at halftime. 
  • Barnauskas kept her red hot shooting night going to start the second with scoring Alma's first four points of the third quarter. The Scots went on another defensive stand of not allowing a point for more than three minutes from the 5:10 mark to the 1:57 mark during the period. The Belles were able to get on an 8-0 run to close out the quarter, cutting Alma's lead to 10 heading into the fourth. 
  • The final quarter opened up with the Scots getting to line twice in the opening minute. Junior guard Hannah Thelen (Pewamo, Mich. / Pewamo Westphalia) and Barnauskas each made both of their shots from the line as Alma pushed its advantage to 49-35. 
  • Up 11 with just over eight minutes remaining, an 8-0 run by the Scots put the game out of reach. Eldridge contributed to six of those points with three jumpers as Alma took its largest lead of the game at 59-40 with 4:05 left. Both teams traded a few buckets back and forth down the stretch, but in the end the Scots sealed down the road victory.  

Notables

  • Eldridge and sophomore center Jeny Brandt (Escanaba, Mich. / Escanaba) each scored 10 points. Brandt made all five of her shots, improving her conference-leading field goal percentage to 61.1 this season. 
  • Thelen grabbed a team-high eight rebounds while also putting up nine points. As a whole, the Scots outrebounded the Belles, 42-38. 
  • After missing the past three games, Warchock had a team-high five assists. The freshman also scored four points and notched five rebounds.  
  • Barnauskas now has a team-high 250 points this season. The senior went over 500 points for her career tonight. 
  • Alma received 48 points from their bench while Saint Mary's only got 14.  
  • 13 turnovers by the Scots ties for a season-low in MIAA games this year. 
  • In their longest streak of road games during the conference season, Alma went 3-0 against three teams that will be playing in the conference tournament.  
  • The Scots clinched their first postseason bid since 2010. They will host a Quarterfinal game on Tuesday, February 19 at 7 p.m. Opponent is still to be determined. 

What He Said 

"We came out playing great defense once again and sustained it throughout the game. We had a rough start offensively, but got it rolling a little better in the second half. Another great team effort with 48 points off our bench. Proud of how hard we are continuing to play."

-Head Coach Ryan Clark

Up Next  

Alma closes out the regular season with home game against Adrian College on Saturday (Feb. 16) at 3 p.m. The team's senior class will be honored before tip off. 

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