Belles Ground Ravens
- Erin Maloney led all players with 14 points while also picking up six steals, six rebounds, four assists, and a blocked shot.
- Gabby Diamond posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards to go along with four steals.
- Megan Saunders chipped in 10 points, and Giavanna Paradiso notched nine points and six rebounds.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team came up with the needed plays late as the Belles took down Anderson 60-56 for their first win of the 2017-18 campaign.
The visiting Ravens jumped out to an 8-0 lead through the first 4:21 of play, but the Belles came right back with four quick points in the span of 1:08 to make it 8-6. Erin Maloney hit a layup to get Saint Mary's on the scoreboard and added a pair of free throws on the next possession. Bern McGeever sunk a mid-range jumper to make it a two-point game with more than four minutes remaining in the quarter. Anderson responded with three consecutive buckets to regain an eight-point lead. The Belles had an answer for the Ravens all night, and the first quarter was no different. Megan Saunders converted a three-point play, Giavanna Paradiso hit a second-chance shot for the Belles, and Caroline Macius had a jumper in transition as Saint Mary's cut the deficit to 14-13 while forcing the Ravens into a timeout. After an Anderson layup, Saunders returned the favor late in the quarter to make it 16-15, but the Ravens would add another layup on their final possession of the quarter to take the 18-15 lead at the first break.
Megan Will opened the second period with a layup and a three-pointer on the first two possessions of the quarter for Saint Mary's to give the Belles their first lead of the game at 20-18. The two sides kept close to one another throughout the next eight-plus minutes of play as the Belles tied the game at both 24-24 and 27-27 after falling behind by fewer than five points. Saunders hit both ends of a trip to the charity stripe a short while later to knot the score at 29-29, and Gabby Diamond regained the lead for the home side with a second-chance bucket in the paint with 3:18 on the clock. Another Diamond jumper put the Belles back ahead by three points at 33-30, and a steal and layup by Olivia Lathers made it 35-32 in favor of Saint Mary's with 48 seconds to play in the quarter. The Ravens, however, tied the score for the fifth time of the contest with a three-pointer to make it 35-35 at the halftime break.
Anderson gained a lead early in the third quarter, but again the Belles stayed the course. Erin Maloney sunk a pair of three-pointers to tie the score at 41-41, and Megan Saunders joined Maloney from beyond the arc with a trey of her own to give Saint Mary's a 44-42 edge. Giavanna Paradiso converted both ends of a trip to the free throw line as the Belles hit an offensive rhythm. Five quick points by the Ravens put Anderson ahead 47-46, but Saint Mary's closed out the quarter on an 8-0 run with Paradiso, Maloney, and Diamond all putting up points to give the Belles a 54-47 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Carin Kaminski hit a deep jumper early in the period for a nine-point edge for the Belles. Both teams, however, struggled to put points on the scoreboard in the final ten minutes of action. A free throw by the Ravens at 8:30 to play made it 56-48 in favor of Saint Mary's. The two sides were unable to generate any points over the next two minutes of play until Megan Will gave the Belles their largest lead of the game at 58-48. Anderson slowly chipped away at the deficit and made it 58-56 with three minutes remaining, but the Belles' defensive efforts came up big in the final stretch of play. The Ravens missed a three-pointer and had no chance at a rebound after good boxing out with just over two minutes left. Carin Kaminski came up with a big steal with 1:26 to play. Another missed shot by Anderson went out of bounds for the Saint Mary's rebound with 28 seconds to play. The Belles maintained their composure and possession of the ball after the Ravens were forced into fouling three times in the span of 13 seconds to put Saint Mary's into the bonus. With the game still sitting at 58-56 with nine seconds to play and the ball back in the hands of the Ravens in front of their bench after the option to advance, Gabby Diamond jumped in front of her player on defense and intercepted a pass with four seconds left. The senior was immediately fouled and sunk both free throws to ice the game as the Belles prevailed 60-56.
The Belles came up at the charity stripe with a 14-of-19 effort from the free throw line while the Ravens were 9-of-13. Saint Mary's held an edge over Anderson in rebound (45-44), offensive rebounds (21-11), steals (16-8), points off of turnovers (22-11), and second-chance points (14-10) while committing 12 fewer turnovers than the Ravens (13-25).
Erin Maloney led all players with 14 points while also picking up six steals, six rebounds, four assists, and a blocked shot. Gabby Diamond posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards to go along with four steals - including the game-clinching steal with four seconds remaining. Megan Saunders chipped in 10 points, and Giavanna Paradiso notched nine points and six rebounds.
The Belles (1-2) are back on the hardwood on Saturday, November 25 when they take on Wilmington at 2:00 p.m. on day one of the Julie Costello Memorial Classic at Thomas More.