SMC vs. Olivet
Ronan's 31 Helps Lift Belles Over Comets
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - A week after setting a new career-high for points, junior Maggie Ronan accomplished the feat again as she scored 31 points in the Saint Mary's basketball team's 76-66 win over Olivet.
The visiting Comets held the upper hand throughout much of the first half as they quickly took the lead to open the game. Olivet led by as much as seven points on three occasions in the first half with the last instance coming at 24-17 with just over seven minutes before the half. Over the next three-and-a-half minute span, Saint Mary's would score eight unanswered points to take a one-point lead at 25-24 with 3:28 to go. The teams traded the lead a pair of times and were tied at 31-31 before an Olivet tip-in gave the Comets the 33-31 lead at the half.
Olivet came out of the halftime break and took their biggest lead of the contest at 45-37 four minutes into the half. The Belles once again responded by out-scoring the Comets 26-6 over the next 11 minutes of play to go up 63-51 with 4:55 left in the game. During that stretch, the Saint Mary's scored on 13 of their 24 possessions, which was capped off with four consecutive made buckets and a pair of free throws in a two minute span.
Olivet would get within four points of Saint Mary's at 70-66 with 32 seconds left in the game, but Katie Sullivan hit a wide-open Patsy Mahoney for a fast-break layup and Maggie Ronan put the game away with four straight free throws in the final 14 seconds of the game.
In the second half, the Belles hit 14-of-23 shots from the floor (60.9%) to Olivet's 12-of-34 (35.3%) while converting 17 of 24 trips to the charity stripe to take the win. For the game, Saint Mary's was 26-of-37 from the line to the Comets' 5-of-10.
Ronan's game- and career-high 31 points marks the first time a Saint Mary's player has eclipsed 30 points in a game since Alison Kessler scored 31 against Adrian on February 20, 2008. The junior was 9-of-14 from the floor on the night and hit 13-of-15 free throws. The 13 made free throws ties her with three other players for the third-most free throws made by a Saint Mary's player in a single game in program history.
Patsy Mahoney had a strong night for the Belles with 15 points, six assists, and five steals. Domini Paradiso, meanwhile, tied her season-high point total with 13 on a six-of-nine shooting night. Liz Wade became the first player in school history to surpass 300 career assists and 300 career steals as she moved past the 300 steal plateau on Wednesday. The senior is already the program's all-time leader in steals and is third in career assists.
With the win, the Belles gain a game advantage over Olivet for fourth place in the league and trail Albion by half of a game for third in the MIAA.
Saint Mary's (13-6, 6-4 MIAA) will travel to Alma on Saturday for a 3:00 p.m. contest against the Scots.