Belles Bounced by Brits in MIAA Opener
- Kelsey Ronan led the Belles with 13 points.
- Ally Steve chipped in 10 points.
- Erin Maloney scored nine points
ALBION, Mich. - After taking a quick 5-2 lead, the Saint Mary's basketball team fell behind 23-9 by the end of the first quarter and could not recover from the deficit in an 81-48 final against Albion in both teams' MIAA opener on Saturday.
Kelsey Ronan put the Belles on the scoreboard first with a pair of free throws, and Erin Maloney drained a three-pointer to give Saint Mary's a 5-2 lead through the first 2:27 of action. Albion pulled even after an extended possession gave the Brits a free throw and a good jump shot a short time later. The score remained deadlocked at 5-5 until Albion hit a shot and used a turnover to net another bucket for a 9-5 lead with 5:06 on the clock. Caroline Macius was fouled while shooting, and the sophomore converted both ends of her trip to the charity stripe to pull the Belles within 9-7 just under the five-minute mark. The Brits, however, responded with a 12-0 run and out-scored the Belles by a 14-2 run over the final 4:45 of the quarter for a 23-9 lead.
The Brits pushed their lead to 21 points at 36-15, but Olivia Lathers sunk a three and Kelsey Ronan added a layup off of an offensive board to make it a 36-20 game with 1:24 remaining before the half. Albion hit a jump shot on their next possession, and the hosts matched their 21-point lead with a late three-pointer to hold a 41-20 advantage at the half.
The Belles came out of the break and notched seven of the first nine points of the third quarter to make it a 43-27 contest. Albion used a 10-0 run over the next three minutes of play to extend the advantage to 53-27 while shutting down the Saint Mary's comeback efforts. The two sides played a close final four minutes of the quarter, but Albion was able to hold a 68-37 lead going into the final ten minutes.
The Brits went on to edge the Belles 13-11 in scoring in the fourth quarter as Saint Mary's was unable to pull within fewer than 29 points during the final stanza.
Albion out-rebounded Saint Mary's 46-28 with a 20-11 edge in offensive boards. The Brits also turned 22 turnovers by the Belles into 26 points while the Belles converted 12 Albion turnovers into nine points. Albion connected on a blistering 47.7 percent of shots from the floor in the contest compared to Saint Mary's 34.0 field goal percentage.
Kelsey Ronan led the Belles with 13 points, and Ally Steve chipped in 10 points. Erin Maloney scored nine points while Gabby Diamond tallied six points and led the team with six rebounds.
The Belles (1-5, 0-1 MIAA) host Trine at Angela Athletic Facility on Wednesday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m.