Season Concludes for Belles Against Comets
- Ally Steve scored a game-high 13 points while pulling down six rebounds.
- Kelsey Ronan added 11 points and eight rebounds with two blocked shots and two steals.
- Gabby Diamond scored eight points, and Gabby Crown had five points.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The bounces did not go the Belles' way on Senior Day as the Saint Mary's basketball tam lost a 55-44 contest at home against Olivet to close out the season.
The Belles came out on a mission in the first quarter. Holding an 8-6 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the quarter, Saint Mary's rattled off a 10-3 run to grab the momentum. Gabby Diamond started the run with a layup, and Ally Steve sunk a three-pointer a minute later to give the home side a 13-6 lead. Gabby Crown then hit back-to-back buckets - a mid-range jumper and a three-pointer - in the final 40 seconds of the quarter to ignite the Belles and give Saint Mary's the 18-9 advantage going into the second stanza.
The Comets tallied a three-pointer on the opening possession of the second quarter before hitting a layup to make it an 18-14 score. Gabby Diamond responded with a pair of free throws to make it a 20-14 game, but Olivet posted a three-pointer two possessions later to make it 20-17. Delaney Rohlman sliced through the lane and hit a tough layup to make it a two-possession lead just 15 seconds later. Both sides hit a scoring drought for the next three minutes of play before Olivet got on the scoreboard under the five-minute mark, and the Belles immediately responded with a jump shot by Kelsey Ronan to maintain the lead. The Comets, however, rattled off seven points with a free throw and two three-pointers to take their first lead of the game at 26-24 with 2:23 remaining before the half. Ronan picked up a big steal late in the quarter and was fouled at the other end trying to regain the lead for the Belles. The senior hit the front end of her trip to the free throw line, and the Belles went into the halftime break trailing 26-25.
Olivet opened the third quarter with a jump shot more than a minute into the action, but Ally Steve sunk a three-pointer on the next possession to knot the score at 28-28. Ronan and Diamond each hit a bucket to put the Belles up 32-28 with six minutes to play in the third period. After two Olivet free throws, Ronan hit another big jump shot from just outside the lane, and Caroline Macius sunk a tough-angle baseline runner to give Saint Mary's a 36-30 advantage with three minutes remaining in the quarter. Olivet halved the Belles' lead over the next two minutes, but Rohlman added a free throw to give Saint Mary's a 37-33 edge with under a minute in the stanza. The Comets, however, shifted the momentum in their favor with a three-pointer and a late fastbreak layup to hold a 38-37 lead going into the final period.
Neither side had much luck getting shots to fall in the fourth quarter, but the bounces favored the Comets much more than they did for the Belles over the last ten minutes of play. Olivet took an insurmountable lead with a 10-0 run while consuming six-and-a-half minutes of the clock. Ally Steve tallied the first point of the quarter for the Belles on a free throw with 2:44 remaining, but the Belles were still unable to get any of their shots from the floor to fall. The freshman guard added six consecutive free throws down the stretch. Saint Mary's, however, could not get within fewer than 11 points of the Comets as Olivet claimed the 55-44 final.
The Belles committed the second-fewest turnovers in a game of the season (13) while forcing the Comets into 23 giveaways on the day. Olivet held a 51-35 edge in rebounds and connected on 35.1 percent (20-of-57) of their shots from the floor to Saint Mary's 23.3 percent (14-of-60) field goal shooting effort.
Ally Steve scored a game-high 13 points while pulling down six rebounds. Kelsey Ronan added 11 points and eight rebounds with two blocked shots and two steals. Gabby Diamond scored eight points, and Gabby Crown had five points. Erin Maloney collected five steals and four assists while moving into a tie for sixth place all-time for assists in a single season (97). Caroline Macius posted a career-best four steals.
The Belles conclude the season with a 2-23 overall record and a 1-15 mark in MIAA play.