Hot Start Not Enough for Belles Against Brits
- Giavanna Paradiso paced Saint Mary's with 12 points and three steals while pulling down seven rebounds.
- Bern McGeever tallied nine points and eight rebounds.
- Olivia Lathers and Delaney Rohlman each posted eight points.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team fell by an 86-58 final against Albion in their first MIAA contest of the season.
The Belles stormed out to a 12-2 lead after scoring on each of their first five possessions of the contest. Megan Will drained a three-pointer on the opening possession of the game, and Gabby Diamond hit a jump shot in the lane less than a minute later for a quick 5-0 Saint Mary's lead. Giavanna Paradiso added a layup on the next possession before the Brits got on the scoreboard with a jump shot. The Belles stormed right down the court, and Erin Maloney threaded the needle to Carin Kaminski on a weak-side cut for an open layup. The firepower kept coming for Saint Mary's. Diamond had a big defensive rebound and and offensive board to keep the next possession alive for the Belles. The senior then found Erin Maloney at the top of the key, and Maloney drained a three-pointer of her own to put Saint Mary's up 12-2 as the Brits called a timeout. After that break, however, Albion countered by out-scoring Saint Mary's 19-7 over the remainder of the first quarter to hold a 21-19 lead at the end of the first period.
The Brits carried over that late momentum from the first quarter into the second quarter. Albion's pressure resulted in six consecutive turnovers by the Belles, and the Brits turned those extra possessions into eight points to gain a 29-19 edge through the first two-plus minutes of play. Trailing by 11 points a short while later, Giavanna Paradiso put some life into the Saint Mary's offense with back-to-back layups to make it a 31-24 game with 6:25 on the clock before the half. Albion and their full-court press, however, continued to regain the ball and capitalize on those chances as the Brits went on a 19-3 run over the next 5:18 for a 50-27 lead late in the second quarter. Kaminski put two points on the scoreboard with a jump shot with 50 seconds on the clock, but Albion hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the period to take a 53-29 halftime lead.
The two sides played a very evenly matched second half of the game. Albion held a close 19-11 edge in scoring during the third quarter, but the Belles committed just two turnovers while forcing the Brits into giving the ball away five times during the period. The difference in the quarter proved to be efficiency from the floor. Albion hit 8-of-15 shots while Saint Mary's connected on 3-of-15 attempts from the floor during the same stretch of play.
Albion extended their lead to 36 in the fourth quarter at 79-43, but the Belles continued to battle the Brits at both ends. Delaney Rohlman hit a tough layup, and Bern McGeever added a quick layup in transition less than 30 seconds later. Later in the third quarter, Rohlman put four consecutive points on the scoreboard to make it 84-55 with 1:14 to play in the period. Caroline Macius hit the first of two free throw attempts with under a minute remaining in the quarter. McGeever came up with the offensive rebound on the second attempt and hit the put-back shot in the paint for the final score of 86-58 as Saint Mary's out-scored Albion 18-14 in the final quarter.
Saint Mary's held a 39-37 edge over Albion in rebounding while committing five fewer fouls than the Brits (25). Albion posted 25 points off of 28 Saint Mary's turnovers while the Belles tallied 10 points off of 17 giveaways by the Brits.
Giavanna Paradiso paced Saint Mary's with 12 points and three steals while pulling down seven rebounds. Bern McGeever tallied nine points and eight rebounds. Olivia Lathers and Delaney Rohlman each posted eight points, and Gabby Diamond had a team-high nine rebounds.
The Belles (1-5, 0-1 MIAA) travel to Calvin on Wednesday, December 6 for a 7:30 p.m. conference contest against the Knights.