Belles Grounded by Undefeated Red Hawks
- Gabby Diamond led the Belles with ten points and nine rebounds while collecting a steal.
- Megan Will added five points and six rebounds.
- Erin Maloney tallied four points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The Saint Mary's basketball team came out swinging against undefeated Montclair State on Tuesday, but the No. 11/16 (d3hoops.com/WBCA Coaches' Poll) Red Hawks proved to be too strong in an 81-31 final in both teams' first game of the Las Vegas Hoopla.
The Red Hawks posted a 5-0 lead through the first 1:35 of play, but the Belles got right back into the thick of things quickly. Gabby Diamond hit a layup and later added a free throw to get Saint Mary's on the scoreboard. A short time later, Erin Maloney sunk a jump shot, and Ally Steve added a layup to make it an 11-7 game with under five minutes remaining in the opening period. After a defensive stop at the other end by the Belles, Megan Will drained a three-pointer to pull Saint Mary's within a point at 11-10 with 4:00 on the clock. Back-to-back three pointers by Montclair State gave the Red Hawks a 17-10 lead before Diamond put down a jump shot in the lane to keep the Belles close with under three minutes in the quarter. The Red Hawks, however, closed out the period on a 10-2 run - including two threes in the final minute - to take a 27-14 lead at the first break.
That scoring run carried over into the second quarter as the Red Hawks put the first nine points of the period on the scoreboard to hold a 36-14 lead. Gabby Crown sunk a jump shot to get the Belles in the scoring column, but Montclair State responded with 12 consecutive points for a 48-16 lead. Gabby Diamond ended the Belles' second scoring drought of the quarter with a jump shot in the paint in the final 40 seconds only to see the Red Hawks respond with a layup at the other end for a 50-18 halftime lead.
Aspen Davis opened the third quarter with a steal at one end and a good jumper in the paint at the other end. The Belles had several good shots and second-chance efforts in the quarter, but the ball continued not to take a friendly bounce for Saint Mary's as the Belles connected on one of ten shots from the floor and five of ten free throws during the third period.
Saint Mary's kept the Red Hawks below their scoring average for the fourth quarter as Montclair State tallied just 10 points. The Belles were unable to make a dent in the deficit, however, as Saint Mary's registered six points over the final ten minutes of play for the 81-31 final score.
Gabby Diamond led the Belles with ten points and nine rebounds while collecting a steal. Megan Will added five points and six rebounds. Erin Maloney tallied four points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Ally Steve and Aspen Davis each chipped in three points for Saint Mary's.
The Belles (1-9) face off against California Lutheran on their second day of competition in the Las Vegas Hoopla on Wednesday, December 21. The game tips off at 10:00 a.m. PST.