ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College women's basketball team got a big contribution from the reserves on Wednesday night in the MIAA opener against Saint Mary's. The starters got Adrian a 12-point halftime lead and the bench brought home the win in the latter stages of the second half after the Belles made a run at Adrian.
The Belles never had larger than a two-point lead in the game and that came in the first half. SMC and Adrian were tied seven times in the first nine minutes before the Bulldogs started to pull away. The Bulldogs used an 11-2 run in the final 4:36 of the half to lead 45-33 at intermission. AC did most of their damage in the paint with 24 points and also had 12 points on the fast break. AC also shot 53.1 percent overall and were 8-for-10 at the foul line.
Saint Mary's closed the lead to 49-45 in the opening 4:34 of the second half and then got within one point of the lead twice, but could not gain a lead. SMC trailed 51-50 with 11:39 left and 53-52 with 9:49 to go. Antoinea McElroy hit a big triple on Adrian's next possession and scored the next seven points for the Bulldogs to gain a little more breathing room. The Bulldogs led 65-58 after a triple by Brigitte Zavithsanos with 6:04 remaining and Saint Mary's got it no closer than three down the stretch. No starters played in the final six minutes of the game for Adrian as their bench scored 34 points. Marissa Cotton led the reserves with a career-high 11 points. Stephany Bohlmann added a career-high eight points including two three-pointers. Amber McCullough scored eight points in 12 minutes going 4-for-5 from the floor.
McElroy led the Bulldogs with 17 points and grabbed four rebounds in 25 minutes. LaQwana Dockery and Lauren Rhoads chipped in 10 points and a combined 11 rebounds. Adrian finished the game with a 22-9 edge in points off turnovers. Adrian defeated the Belles for the third straight time and won for the fourth time in the last five meetings to own a 20-16 series edge. The Bulldogs take 10 days off before tipping on December 14 at home against Albion.