Alma, Mich. - The Alma College women's basketball team welcomed nationally-ranked Hope College to Art Smith Arena Saturday (Dec. 10) afternoon, falling to the No. 7 Flying Dutch, 66-52. Hope remained undefeated and improved its record to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, while Alma dropped to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the MIAA.
Freshman Hannah Thelen (Pewamo, Mich./Pewamo-Westphalia) led the Scots with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, scoring 11 in the first half of play, while senior Tara Padgett (Freeland, Mich./Freeland) came off the bench to add 13 points, scoring all but two in the second half. Padgett also posted two steals to move into seventh on the program's all-time steals list with 122. Sophomore Kelsey Wolffis (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores) pulled down a game-high nine rebounds and added four blocks and five steals. Wolffis is the conference leader in blocks per game at 3.7.
Hope was led by Francesca Buchanan's 14 points and eight rebounds, while two other Dutch players scored in double figures.
In the first quarter, the Scots played tight with the Dutch, staying within three points until the end of the stanza when Hope scored four straight points to gain a 20-15 advantage. In the second quarter, Alma netted nine of the first 11 points to take a two-point lead at 24-22 with 6:38 remaining in the half. The Dutch responded with a 10-0 run to gain its largest lead of the half and entered the halftime break up by eight points at 34-26.
The second half opened with the Dutch scoring the first 13 points to expand their lead to 21 points. Alma responded with a run of its own, scoring seven straight, and tried to climb back in the game behind Padgett, who scored eight points in the final 3:48 of the stanza. Hope led by 16 entering the fourth quarter and maintained its advantage for the rest of the game, although the Scots outscored the Dutch in the final 10 minutes, 13-11.
Alma finished the game making 22 of its 57 shots (38.6 pct.), including 5-of-11 from three point range (45.4 pct.), while Hope made 40 percent of its shots (24-60) and out-rebounded Alma by a slim 38-36 margin.
Alma will take a break for finals week and return to the court on Saturday, Dec. 17, traveling to Kalamazoo College for a MIAA contest.
Contact: Zach Russo, Assistant Sports Information Director, (989) 463-7436