SMC vs. Albion
Paradiso's Double-Double Helps Lift Belles Over Britons
ALBION, Mich. - Domini Paradiso notched her first career double-double as the Saint Mary's basketball team won a crucial MIAA contest against Albion 68-59 on the road on Saturday.
Maggie Ronan scored the Belles' first six points as scored on each of their first four possessions to jump out to an 8-3 lead. Albion kept close, though, as the teams would be tied four times in the first seven minutes of play. With the Belles clinging to a 21-20 lead with just over 11 minutes to go, both teams had a cold spell of shooting as the score remained unchanged over the next 2:16 of game time until the Brits hit a pair of free throws to take a 22-21 advantage.
After the lead changed hands a pair of times and the game saw its eighth tie in just the first half, Albion was able to hit a jump shot and a free throw to take a 33-30 lead into the half.
Albion opened up the second half with the first six points to go up 39-30 just 2:10 into the half for their largest lead of the game. With the Brits up 43-34, the Belles responded with the biggest run of the game as they out-scored Albion 24-3 to turn the nine-point deficit into a 12-point lead. During that run, the Belles' post players turned on the offense as Domini Paradiso, Jessica Centa, and Kelley Murphy combined to score 19 of the team's 24 points during that 8:36 span.
Over the final 7:11 of the game, the Belles would be up at least eight points as Saint Mary's continued to find success at the free throw line on their way to their 68-59 win. The Belles finished the game 24-of-34 from the line to Albion's 6-of-13 day at the charity stripe. Saint Mary's has now made 482 free throws on the season, just two behind the school record of 484 made in the 2008-09 season.
Domini Paradiso tallied her first double-double of her collegiate career, matching her career-high of 13 points and establishing a new career-high of 13 rebounds. Of her 13 boards, 11 of them came off the offensive glass. Kelley Murphy had a team-high 14 points. Patsy Mahoney and Maggie Ronan each added 12 points in the win. Mahoney also had team-highs of five assists and four steals while also moving into sixth place all-time for the most free throws made in a single season (98). Jessica Centa rounded out the double-digit scoring efforts with 11 points.
With the win, the Belles now have 16 victories on the year, which is the second-most wins in a season (17 wins - 2008-2009 season). The win also moves Saint Mary's within striking distance of Albion for third place in the league. The Brits are 10-4 in MIAA play while the Belles are 9-5 heading into the final week of conference play.
Saint Mary's (16-7, 9-5 MIAA) will return to Angela Athletic Facility for their final home contest of the regular season on Wednesday, February 16 against Adrian at 7:30 p.m. The game will also be the team's Pink Zone game as the Belles will help raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.