Belle Basketball clinches conference

Belles beat out ENMU for No. 1 seed

By Rosanna Aguilera
On March 1, 2018

Photo by Brit Raley
Dr. Brian May, his wife Patti May and Dr. Don Topliff congratulate the Belles with hugs after their win against Eastern New Mexico. The Belles are going into Lone Star Conference Tournament on March 1 as the number one seed.

The Belles basketball team won its game over Eastern New Mexico University 59-56 Thursday night, making them 20-5 on the season.

This win marked their third straight season with at least 20 wins.

With less than a minute remaining in the game, the teams were tied at 56.

Senior guard Marquita Daniels brought the ball down after a timeout, driving into the lane and drawing a foul. Daniels made both of her free throws.

Senior Madi Greenwood made the final free throw, making the final score 59-56.

Daniels was the leading scorer for the team with 19 points and five rebounds.

Senior guard Keanna Kelly had nine points, all three-pointers.

Junior Guard Dezirae Hampton was the only other player for the Belles to finish in double figures. She scored 11 points and pulled down seven boards.

"We made it a big impact to run at the shooters, and I think that affected them," Hampton said. "We knew how big of a game it was and knew there would be a lot of pressure, but in the end we defended and got the win."

Sophomore forward De’Anira Moore was the leading rebounder for the team with 15 rebounds.

Head coach Renae Shippy said she was proud of the way the team played.

"Obviously you have to hand it to Eastern New Mexico, forcing us into so many turnovers and holding us to just 59 points," Shippy said. "That just shows how great of a defense team that they are."

Shippy said the Belles don’t usually turn over the ball.

"For them to be able to force us to into 20 turnovers, we have to give them credit," Shippy said.

Shippy said she’s proud of her girls for handling the adversity of struggling to score and turning over the ball and still getting the win.

Shippy said ENMU had long, athletic guards who pressed them the entire game.

"You have to give credit to them because it worked against us," Shippy said.

Shippy said the team did a much better job of executing and thought this came from the leadership of four seniors out on the court.

"I think that made a huge difference because they were determined and decided how it was going to be and their defensive effort was phenomenal at the end," Shippy said.

Shippy said their four seniors are great players and phenomenal people.

"They’re fun to be around and have great leadership, and we’re going to miss them," Shippy said.

Hampton said they plan to win the senior night game for the seniors.

"We’re a close team and love each other like sisters," Hampton said.

The four seniors on the team are Keanna Kelly, Madi Greenwood, Ekiya Gray and Marquita Daniels.

The Belles won their Senior Day game against Western New Mexico University 86-31.

The team will start the Lone Star Conference Tournament in Frisco March 1 against Texas Woman’s University.

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