Strong Finish Lifts Belles Past Blue Streaks
- Giavanna Paradiso poured in a season-high and game-best 28 points and 14 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double.
- Erin Maloney added 11 points and three assists.
- Delaney Rohlman chipped in eight points and three rebounds.
GREENCASTLE, Ind. - Giavanna Paradiso scored four points in the final nine seconds of play - including the go-ahead layup to break a 59-59 tie - as the Saint Mary's basketball team overtook John Carroll late in the contest for a 63-59 win at DePauw's Amy Hasbrook Classic.
The Belles got off to a solid start against the Blue Streaks. Giavanna Paradiso collected an offensive rebound and hit a put-back layup on the first possession of the game for Saint Mary's. The freshman forward then sunk a three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Belles a 5-0 lead through the first two minutes of play. Paradiso added another bucket to make it 7-2, but John Carroll put the next six points on the scoreboard to gain an 8-7 lead. Paradiso connected on her fourth consecutive shot to regain a 9-8 advantage for the Belles. The Blue Streaks countered with six straight points for a 14-9 lead. Erin Maloney hit the front end of a trip to the charity stripe in the final seconds of the quarter to make it a 14-10 game at conclusion of the first period.
Neither team saw many bounces go their way in the opening minutes of the second period, but Saint Mary's was able to knot the score at 14-14 with two free throws by Paradiso and a steal and layup by Delaney Rohlman. John Carroll regained the lead, but the Belles kept close to the Blue Streaks and were twice within two points as the clock moved toward halftime. A quick 6-1 spurt in the span of 1:14 saw John Carroll gain a 27-20 lead with under a minute remaining in the quarter. Erin Maloney put an end to that run with a mid-range jumper to make it a 27-22 game at the half.
Olivia Lathers opened up the third quarter with a three-pointer from the corner, and Paradiso added a jumper and a layup to tie the score at 29-29 with 7:10 still to play in the period. The Blue Streaks responded with a 9-1 run over the next three minutes to go up 38-30, marking the largest lead of the game for either side. The Belles battled their way right back with a three-pointer and a layup by Erin Maloney to make it a two-possession game at both 38-33 and 40-35. Gabby Crown then drained a three-pointer right in front of the Saint Mary's bench to cut the deficit to 42-38 just before the end of the quarter as the momentum increasingly shifted toward the Belles.
Crown picked right up where she left off with a back door layup to open the fourth quarter while making it a two-point game. John Carroll regained a four-point lead at both 44-40 and 46-42, but Paradiso and Gabby Diamond hit back-to-back shots for Saint Mary's to knot the game at 46-46 with 6:54 to play. The Blue Streaks put the next four points on the scoreboard to again take a four-point lead at 50-46 and came back with a jump shot in the lane a possession later for a 52-48 lead, but Saint Mary's was determined to find a way to win.
Delaney Rohlman drained a three-pointer on the Belles' next possession to make it a 52-51 game with under five minutes remaining. Bern McGeever then grabbed an offensive rebound and hit the put-back layup to give the Belles their first lead since the opening quarter. John Carroll quickly claimed the lead with a layup, but Paradiso hit a pair of free throws and Delaney Rohlman sunk a huge three-pointer to give Saint Mary's a 58-54 lead with 2:03 on the clock. The Blue Streaks tied the game for the sixth time at 59-59 with 22 seconds to play after hitting a jump shot and the tail end of a trip to the free throw line. Using a timeout to advance the ball to the front court, the Belles executed their next play to near perfection as Giavanna Paradiso powered her way to a good layup off an entry pass from Erin Maloney with nine seconds left on the clock. John Carroll also used the option of a timeout to advance the ball, but the Belles' stingy defense late led to an errant pass out of bounds by the Blue Streaks to give the ball back to Saint Mary's. John Carroll was forced to foul to try to keep the game alive, but Giavanna Paradiso sunk both free throws with two seconds remaining to lift Saint Mary's to the 63-59 win. The Belles outscored the Blue Streaks 15-7 over the final 5:00 of the contest for the four-point win.
Saint Mary's increased both their offensive output and their shooting percentage in each quarter of the contest. In the fourth quarter alone, the Belles connected on 50 percent of their shots from the floor while scoring a game-high 25 points during the period. Saint Mary's outscored John Carroll 20-11 in points off of turnovers while committing five fewer (18) turnovers than the Blue Streaks (23). The Belles added a 6-of-14 (42.9 percent) performance from behind the arc and a 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) day at the free throw line.
Giavanna Paradiso poured in a season-high and game-best 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor and a 7-of-8 effort from the free throw line while also adding 14 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double. Erin Maloney added 11 points and three assists. Delaney Rohlman chipped in eight points and three rebounds. Gabby Diamond and Gabby Crown each scored five points, and Diamond collected three steals and two assists.
The Belles (3-8) face off against Wisconsin-Stevens Point on day two of the Amy Hasbrook Classic at DePauw University starting at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.