Belles Sunk by No. 7 Flying Dutch
- Megan Will led the Belles with a season-high 10 points on the day.
- Gabby Diamond added nine points and seven rebounds.
- Ally Steve had nine points and a pair of assists.
- Erin Maloney posted nine points, six rebounds, six steals, and four assists.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The visiting Flying Dutch showed why they are currently ranked in the top ten among Division III women's basketball programs as Saint Mary's fell in a 101-49 final against No. 7 Hope at home on Saturday.
The Belles kept close to the Flying Dutch throughout much of the opening quarter of play. Ally Steve hit a shot in the paint to make it a seven-point game midway through the first period. A few minutes later, Delaney Rohlman pulled down an offensive board and sunk the put-back cut the deficit to eight points with 3:43 remaining on the clock. The Flying Dutch made two consecutive buckets to claim a 12-point lead, but Rohlman and Steve put three combined points on the scoreboard to make it a 19-8 score with under two minutes left in the quarter. The Flying Dutch, however, scored on three of their final four possessions of the period to take a 23-9 lead at the first break.
Hope extended their lead to 30 points through the first 6:10 of the second quarter. The Flying Dutch went on a 16-0 run over a span of four-plus minutes and capped off the run with a three-pointer. Gabby Diamond hit a pull-up jumper to break up the run. Kelsey Ronan added a pair of free throws, and Diamond completed a three-point play a short while later to give the Belles some momentum late in the quarter. Hope connected on the only good basket of the final 1:50 of the period, and the Flying Dutch took a 51-18 lead into the halftime break.
From the six-minute mark through the two-minute mark, the two sides traded buckets back and forth. Ronan, Diamond, and Erin Maloney each got in on the made buckets for the Belles. Despite keeping up the pace for a big chunk of the quarter, the Belles trailed the Flying Dutch 75-29 heading into the final period.
During the final ten minutes of action, Saint Mary's made more shots and more three-pointers than Hope while posting a better shooting percentage than the Flying Dutch. Additionally, the Belles were able to put up 20 points against a Hope team who had only surrendered 20-plus points in a fourth quarter two other times this season - an overtime win and a loss, both against nationally-ranked opponents. Megan Will poured on the offense in the final quarter as the freshman hit four of six shots for eight points. Olivia Lathers and Diamond each posted a pair, and Aspen Davis had a corner three. Ally Steve closed out the game with a buzzer-beating banked three-pointer in the 101-49 final.
Megan Will led the Belles with a season-high 10 points on the day. Gabby Diamond added nine points and seven rebounds, and Ally Steve had nine points and a pair of assists. Erin Maloney posted nine points, six rebounds, six steals, and four assists. Aspen Davis chipped in five points.
The Belles (1-14, 0-7 MIAA) travel to Olivet on Wednesday, January 18 for a 7:30 p.m. contest against the Comets.