Belles Battle Tough Against Brits
- Gabby Diamond had 14 points and a career-high 19 rebounds to help lead the Belles.
- The rebound total also puts her in a tie for the fifth-most rebounds in a single game in program history.
- Ally Steve added 14 points with a dozen of those coming in the second half of play.
- Megan Will posted a season-high 13 points.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - A determined Saint Mary's basketball team held their own and continued to battle their way back into contention before falling 82-55 against Albion on Saturday.
Megan Will opened the game with a three-point play before sinking a layup to put the Belles ahead 5-2 through the first two-plus minutes of action. The Belles then had a scoring drought which lasted until the closing seconds of the quarter. Saint Mary's had six close-range shots miss their mark while three three-pointers could not find the net during that span. Albion pushed their lead to 22-5 in the quarter, but a late steal by Ally Steve and a layup before the buzzer by Gabby Diamond put a pair of points on the scoreboard while giving the Belles some momentum moving into the second period.
Erin Maloney hit a three-pointer from the right wing, and Diamond added a put-back layup a minute later to cut the deficit to ten points at 22-10 in the second quarter. The Belles continued to match the Brits basket for basket throughout much of the period until Albion put the final seven points on the scoreboard before the break for a 43-22 halftime lead.
Kelsey Ronan and Megan Will kick-started the third quarter with a jump shot in the paint and a three-pointer, respectively, to spark the Belles. On the next Saint Mary's possession, Ally Steve drained a three-pointer to make it a 45-30 game as the momentum began to grow for the Belles. A minute later, it was Gabby Diamond's turn to provide some offense with a jump shot. Albion put the next two buckets on the scoreboard, but the Belles continued to fight. Steve sunk another three with just under six minutes on the clock before hitting her third three in as many attempts with less than five minutes on the clock to cut the deficit to 13 at 51-38. That second three-pointer amplified the home side's support in the stands while forcing the Brits into calling a timeout. Albion came out of that timeout and hit back-to-back three-pointers of their own to start a 10-1 scoring run to shift the momentum back in their favor. Diamond converted a three-point play with 2:28 remaining in the quarter, but Albion held a 65-42 advantage heading into the final quarter.
The Belles held Albion to their lowest scoring output of the game in the fourth stanza as the Brits connected on just 33.3 percent of their shots during the final ten minutes. Saint Mary's, however, was unable to put together a run to counteract the low offensive production by the visitors during that same span. The Brits maintained at least a 23-point lead for the duration of the final period for the 82-55 decision.
Saint Mary's held a 47-40 advantage over Albion in total rebounds with an 18-8 margin in offensive boards. The Brits, meanwhile, held a 24-9 scoring difference over the Belles in points off of turnovers.
Gabby Diamond had 14 points and a career-high 19 rebounds to help lead the Belles. The rebound total also puts her in a tie for the fifth-most rebounds in a single game in program history. Ally Steve added 14 points with a dozen of those coming in the second half of play. Megan Will posted a season-high 13 points. Erin Maloney chipped in six points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
The Belles (1-16, 0-9 MIAA) travel to Trine on Wednesday, January 25 for a 6:00 p.m. contest against the Thunder.