Belles Take Down Scarlet Hawks
- Gabby Diamond had 14 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists.
- Giavanna Paradiso added 13 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
- Erin Maloney posted nine points while Delaney Rohlman notched seven points.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Belles opened up the game on a 19-2 scoring run and never looked back as the Saint Mary's basketball team claimed a 73-42 win over Illinois Tech at Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex on Wednesday night.
The offense was firing on all cylinders for the Belles at the start of the game. Saint Mary's posted assists on each of their first six made baskets and 11 of their first 13 buckets on their way to a quick double-digit lead. Erin Maloney put the home side on the scoreboard first with a jumper on the left wing followed by a three pointer for a 5-2 advantage a minute and a half into play. The Belles put the pedal to the metal by scoring the next 14 points of the contest. Gabby Diamond scored a pair of shots in the paint and Kelsey Trimble drained back-to-back three-pointers for a 15-2 lead. Giavanna Paradiso had an offensive rebound and put-back layup, and Diamond added her third shot in the paint to put Saint Mary's ahead 19-2 with 5:15 still remaining in the quarter. Diamond, Paradiso, and Carin Kaminski each added two more points in response to baskets by the Scarlet Hawks, and Bern McGeever twice pushed the lead to 19 points with a pair of layups in the final minute and a half of the period. Kaminski then capped off the scoring in the opening quarter with a free throw for a 28-8 lead for the Belles at the first break.
The scoring was not as free-flowing for the Belles in the second quarter, but Saint Mary's was also able to limit the Illinois Tech chances during that same span. The teams combined for six points over the opening five minutes of the quarter with the Scarlet Hawks posting four of those six points. As the clock moved below the three-minute mark, Gabby Crown hit a jump shot before Paradiso converted a pass from Crown to make it a 36-14 game. Crown added another jump shot on an extended possession less than a minute later as the Belles continued to hold a substantial lead. Illinois Tech tallied a layup on their next possession, and the score stood at 38-18 at the halftime break as neither team could get a shot to fall over the final minute of the half.
The Belles opened the third quarter on a 18-2 run with Diamond, Paradiso, Maloney, and Delaney Rohlman all contributing points as Saint Mary's ballooned the lead to 36 points at 56-20. Rohlman added a steal and layup at the other end before a jump shot to keep the home side ahead 60-24 late in the quarter. The Scarlet Hawks closed out the quarter with a three-pointer and two free throws in the final seconds of the period to make it 60-29 heading into the final ten minutes of action.
Over the remainder of the contest, the Belles held at least a 31-point lead as both sides scored 13 points during the fourth quarter. Caroline Macius scored all six of her points in the final quarter as McGeever, Megan Will, and Megan Saunders each added points in the 73-42 final.
The Belles registered an assist on 23 of 33 made shots from the floor, marking the most assists in a single contest since their November 22, 2013 match up against Buena Vista. Additionally, it is the most assists in a victory for Saint Mary's since an 83-33 win over Northland on November 16, 2013.
Additionally, the Belles shot better than 40 percent from the floor (33-of-79; 41.8 percent) for the third time this season. Saint Mary's out-rebounded Illinois Tech 56-28 on the night and held a 46-26 scoring advantage in points in the paint.
Gabby Diamond had 14 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists, and Giavanna Paradiso added 13 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Erin Maloney posted nine points while Delaney Rohlman notched seven points. Kelsey Trimble, Caroline Macius, and Bern McGeever each tallied six points. Trimble (3) and fellow senior Gabby Crown (2) set new career-high marks for assists as eight different Belles recorded at least one assist on the night.
The Belles (6-14) return to MIAA competition on Saturday, February 3 when they host Kalamazoo at 3:00 p.m.