Belles' Streak Stopped by Thunder
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team had their winning streak interrupted by conference rival Trine as the Thunder claimed a 97-66 decision on Saturday afternoon.
Trine regained an early lead with a three-pointer to go ahead 9-8 less than five minutes into the game, but Saint Mary's responded with a 7-0 run to pull ahead 15-9. Maddie Kohler kick-started the scoring spurt with a three-pointer of her own while Eleni Shea and Ariana Paul each drained a bucket to give the Belles their largest lead of the game.
With the Belles holding on to a five-point lead two-and-a-half minutes later, the Thunder tallied five consecutive points on two consecutive possessions to draw even at 19-19.
Over the next five minutes, the teams played neck and neck as the game featured four ties and three lead changes. The last of those ties came at 29-29 with 5:32 remaining in the first half. The host Thunder scored on their next two possessions to go ahead 33-29. The Thunder pushed that advantage to a nine-point cushion, but the Belles hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to stay well within striking distance at 42-35 at the half.
Trine, however, opened up the second half with nine straight points to push their lead to 16 at 51-35. The Belles were able to chip away at the deficit and pulled within 57-46 with 12:02 to go, but the Thunder used a 14-5 run to distance themselves for good.
Ariana Paul led the Belles with 18 points and six rebounds, and Eleni Shea added 14 points with a pair of blocked shots. Maddie Kohler chipped in nine points as nine different players scored in the game for Saint Mary's.
The Belles (3-4, 1-1 MIAA) return to action next Friday night when they travel to Hope and play the Flying Dutch at 5:30 p.m. in the first day of a two-day tournament.