Tough Bounces Stop Belles Against Thunder
- Erin Maloney scored a team-high nine points.
- Maddie Kohler added eight points, six rebounds, and two steals.
- Krista Knapke led all players with nine rebounds to go along with six points.
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team had a difficult time getting shots to fall as the Belles were on the wrong side of a 71-40 final score at Trine on Saturday afternoon.
The first quarter saw the teams play an evenly-played 10 minutes. The Thunder took a 5-2 lead with 6:37 on a three-point play, but a layup by Krista Knapke and a jump shot by Erin Maloney pushed the Belles ahead 6-5 a minute later. As the clock moved below the three-minute mark, Gabby Diamond cleaned up the offensive glass and drained the put-back to make it an 8-5 lead for Saint Mary's. Trine countered with a three-pointer on the next possession before taking a 10-8 lead at the quarter break.
The Thunder took over the momentum of the game in the second quarter by opening the period with a 12-0 run. The Belles were not without their chances during that same stretch, but the bounces were not friendly for the Saint Mary's offense. Maloney hit a mid-range jump shot to make it an 18-10 contest with 6:29 remaining, but the Thunder continued to get the shots to fall to take a 31-14 lead at the halftime break.
Trine extended their lead to 38-15 in the third quarter, but the Belles continued to be undeterred in their efforts on the road. A three-point play by Kelsey Ronan energized the Belles' offense. Maddie Kohler then hit a pair of free throws to take full advantage of the bonus after Trine's fifth foul of the quarter. Ronan hit a jumper along the right side of the court with under four minutes in the period to make it a 38-22 game, but Trine stopped the run with a pair of buckets as the teams traded points down the stretch for a 44-26 score moving into the fourth quarter.
Gabby Diamond sunk a jumper in the opening minute of the final period to cut the deficit to 16 yet again, but the Belles' comeback efforts hit a roadblock over the next three minutes of play. The Thunder were 3-of-5 from the floor with four free throws while the Belles went 1-of-7 during that same span of time. Trine took a 55-30 lead with just over six minutes remaining and led by at least 26 points over the final five minutes of play.
The Belles shot 27.4 percent (17-of-62) from the floor while the Thunder hit 50.0 percent (29-of-58) of their shots in the game. Rebounds were a near deadlock with Trine edging out Saint Mary's 39-38 on the glass. The Belles, however, held an 18-10 advantage on offensive boards, which led to a 16 second-chance points to the Thunder's eight.
Erin Maloney led the Belles with nine points to go along with a pair of assists. Maddie Kohler added eight points, six rebounds, and two steals. Krista Knapke had a game-high nine rebounds and scored six points. Gabby Diamond added six points and two assists, and Sarah Macius chipped in six points.
The Belles (1-9, 1-3 MIAA) are away from competition during finals week and return to the hardwood on Saturday, December 19 when they host Millikin at 1:00 p.m.