Season Concludes for Belles in Loss at Albion
- Giavanna Paradiso led all players with 19 points.
- Gabby Diamond added 12 points.
- Delaney Rohlman chipped in a career-best nine points.
ALBION, Mich. - The final score was not indicative of the performance for the Belles as Saint Mary's basketball team had their season come to a close with a hard-fought 73-58 loss at Albion on Saturday.
The Belles and the Brits played a back-and-forth contest from the opening whistle as the first period featured five ties and two lead changes. Gabby Diamond hit a second-chance layup and Gabby Crown drained a three-pointer to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead. The Brits knotted the game at 5-5, but Giavanna Paradiso came right back with a layup for a 7-5 lead. The teams traded buckets again with Diamond tallying a layup for a 9-7 lead. Paradiso added a free throw 1:20 later for a 10-7 Saint Mary's lead with 5:47 on the clock. Delaney Rohlman put the Belles up 12-8 with a second-chance layup with 3:32 remaining in the first quarter. The Brits closed out the final two minutes with a 6-1 scoring spurt to hold a 14-13 lead at the first break.
After the Brits put the first bucket on the scoreboard in the second quarter, Paradiso responded with a jump shot to keep the Belles close at 16-15. Two minutes later, it was Diamond with a layup to make it a one-point game at 18-17. Megan Saunders followed up with a layup of her own to make it a one-point score again at 20-19. Gabby Crown then hit her second three-pointer in as many attempts on the next Saint Mary's possession to knot the score at 22-22 with 4:03 on the clock. Diamond gave the lead back to the Belles with a jumper on the next Saint Mary's possession, and Saint Mary's continued a late-quarter run with a free throw by Saunders and a three-pointer by Rohlman to snag a 28-22 lead with 2:33 on the clock. After an Albion three-pointer, Paradiso made it a two-possession lead with a layup for a 30-25 Saint Mary's lead. The Brits hit another three-pointer, but the Belles got a three-point play by Giavanna Paradiso in the closing moments of the quarter to hold a 33-28 lead at halftime.
Paradiso opened the scoring for Saint Mary's in the third quarter with another three-point play to keep the Belles up 36-30. Albion responded with a layup and three-pointer, but Erin Maloney swiped a steal and converted the takeaway into a layup for a 38-35 lead. The Brits put four consecutive points on the scoreboard for a 39-38 lead as both teams continued to battle back and forth. Paradiso came right back with a layup to shift the lead back to the Belles. Albion knotted the score a short while later at 43-43, but Rohlman hit a layup in transition and Paradiso sunk two free throws to give Saint Mary's a 47-43 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Albion put eight of the first ten points on the scoreboard in the fourth period to go up 51-49 with 6:28 on the clock, but Diamond tied the score back up quickly with a layup. A possession later, Paradiso hit another layup as the Belles trailed 54-53 with 5:46 remaining. A 7-0 spurt by the Brits over the next minute gave the home side a 61-53 lead, but the Belles continued to fight down the stretch. Diamond added another bucket in the paint, and Olivia Lathers nailed a big three-pointer to make it a five-point game at 63-58 with 2:43 on the clock. Neither side scored over the next minute of play. It would be the Brits who would break up the scoreless stretch with a layup and a three-point play on consecutive possessions to gain a 68-58 lead with 1:11 to play. Down the stretch, the Belles were unable to get a shot to fall while the Brits connected on five of six free throws for the 73-58 final margin.
Giavanna Paradiso led all players with 19 points. Gabby Diamond added 12 points, and Delaney Rohlman chipped in a career-best nine points. Erin Maloney eclipsed the 200-steal plateau with five takeaways (201) and moved into sixth place all-time in career assists with six in the game for 253 through three seasons.
The Belles conclude the season with a 6-19 overall record and a 3-13 mark in MIAA contests.