Belles Clipped by Bulldogs
- Giavanna Paradiso led the Belles with 18 points and nine rebounds.
- Megan Saunders added nine points and a season-high six assists.
- Gabby Diamond scored eight points.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team came up short in a 62-58 final against Adrian on Wednesday evening.
The Belles gained an early 5-0 edge after a layup by Giavanna Paradiso and a three-pointer by Megan Saunders. The Bulldogs responded with the next five points, but Saint Mary's fired right back with another Saunders three-pointer and a picked-pocket and fastbreak layup by Delaney Rohlman for a 10-5 lead with 3:18 to play in the opening quarter. A bucket by Adrian cut the lead to 10-7 on the Bulldogs' next possession. With just over a minute on the clock, Bern McGeever got in on the long-distance shot connection with a three-pointer from the left wing to double the Belles' lead. McGeever sunk a free throw 26 seconds later for a 14-7 Saint Mary's advantage. The Bulldogs hit a layup on their final possession of the quarter, and a buzzer-beating jump shot in the lane by Giavanna Paradiso rimmed out as the game stood at 14-9 after ten minutes of play.
Adrian pulled within a point in the opening 2:30 of the second period of action, but Saint Mary's continued to find an answer with Gabby Crown draining a three-pointer and Paradiso hitting both ends of a trip to the charity stripe to make it 20-14. A minute later, Gabby Diamond added a layup to extend the lead to eight points. Paradiso added a layup, and Saunders hit her third triple of the game to push the Belles ahead 27-18 with 3:13 on the clock. The Bulldogs responded with a layup, but Saint Mary's put the next five points on the scoreboard with a bucket by Diamond and a three-point play by Paradiso for a 32-20 lead with 1:14 remaining before halftime. The Bulldogs broke up the scoring spurt with a layup seconds before the the clock expired to make it a 32-22 game at the half.
Olivia Lathers hit a three-pointer on the first Saint Mary's possession of the third quarter, and Giavanna Paradiso added a layup a minute later as the Belles held a 37-27 lead. Adrian made it a six-point game at 37-31, but Delaney Rohlman had a response in the form of a three-pointer to push the Belles up 40-31. The Bulldogs put a pair of free throws on the scoreboard, but Rohlman hit a tough layup to extend the lead to nine again at 42-33. A 7-0 scoring run over the next two minutes by Adrian made it a 42-40 game with 1:20 remaining. Paradiso hit a jump shot in the lane, and Erin Maloney nailed a three-pointer right in front of the Saint Mary's bench just before the expiration of the quarter to keep the Belles ahead at 47-40.
Lathers again opened things up in the fourth quarter with a jump shot, but the Bulldogs gained momentum with a 9-2 run over the next 2:18 of play to make it a 51-49 game. Gabby Diamond banked in a layup to make it a two-possession game. Adrian, however, continued to shift the energy more and more in their favor as the Bulldogs rattled off a game-changing 10-0 run to gain a 59-53 lead with 1:33 to play. Giavanna Paradiso hit a pair of free throws with 48 seconds on the clock to make it 59-55. The Bulldogs hit just one free throw 24 seconds later, and the Belles fought right back into the game with a three-point play by Paradiso to make it 60-58 with 17 seconds to go. Adrian's Ashley Morris capped off her game-high 20 points with two free throws with 14 seconds remaining, and the Belles were unable to get a late three-pointer to fall in the 62-58 final.
Giavanna Paradiso led the Belles with 18 points and nine rebounds. Megan Saunders added nine points and a season-high six assists. Gabby Diamond scored eight points, and Delaney Rohlman chipped in seven points. Erin Maloney had a game-high five steals.
The Belles (5-13, 3-7 MIAA) travel to Olivet for a 7:30 p.m. conference game against the Comets on Saturday, January 27.