Belles Upended by Hornets
- Giavanna Paradiso led all players with 18 points, including a 6-of-6 effort from the free throw line.
- Gabby Crown posted six points.
- Erin Maloney added six points and six steals.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team suffered a 57-48 loss to Kalamazoo on Senior Day at Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex on Saturday.
The Belles jumped out with a storybook start against the Hornets. The team's three seniors - Kelsey Trimble, Gabby Diamond, and Gabby Crown - each drained a three-pointer to put Saint Mary's ahead 9-2 with 7:24 on the clock. Kalamazoo cut the Belles' lead to three points at 9-6 and 11-8, but Crown connected on her second three-pointer of the game to keep Saint Mary's up 14-8 with 4:39 remaining in the opening period. The visiting Hornets put a layup in a minute later as the Belles maintained a two-possession lead. The score stood at 14-10 until Megan Saunders hit a free throw with 12 seconds on the clock, giving Saint Mary's a 15-10 lead they would carry into the second quarter.
Neither team was able to get the offense flowing consistently over the beginning of the next period, but Kalamazoo put the first six points on the scoreboard in the span of 4:04 to take a 16-15 lead. Erin Maloney came right back for the Belles and drew a foul on a layup, and the junior hit both ends of the trip to the charity stripe to put Saint Mary's ahead. The Hornets responded with a layup on their next possession to regain an 18-17 lead with 5:29 on the clock. A scoreless stretch which lasted nearly two minutes was broken up by a three-pointer by Giavanna Paradiso. Caroline Macius then hit a jump shot in the lane to put the Belles up 22-18. Kalamazoo converted a three-point play to make it 22-21 with 1:23, but Paradiso pulled down an offensive rebound, got the put-back off just before the buzzer, and hit the chance as the clock hit zeroes to lift Saint Mary's to a 24-21 lead at the halftime break.
The two sides battled back-and-forth to begin the third quarter with Diamond, Erin Maloney, and Delaney Rohlman all contributing points as the Belles continued to keep a narrow lead at 30-27. The momentum, however, shifted toward Kalamazoo as the Hornets outscored Saint Mary's 12-2 over the final four minutes of the quarter to snag a 39-32 lead.
Paradiso opened the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws to make it 39-34, but four quick points by Kalamazoo pushed the Hornets up 43-34 a minute later. Paradiso posted the next four points to keep the Belles close at 45-38 with 7:33 remaining in the quarter. Neither team was able to get a shot to fall over the next 4:24 of play, and Kalamazoo broke up the drought with a jump shot to make it a nine-point lead. Less than 20 seconds later, Bern McGeever drained a three-pointer from the top of the key to re-energize the home side with just under three minutes remaining. The Hornets again came up with a response - this time with a three-pointer of their own followed by a free throw 20 seconds later - to build their largest lead of the game. Erin Maloney hit a layup on the next Saint Mary's possession, and Giavanna Paradiso knocked down a three-pointer to edge the Belles within six points at 52-46 with a minute to play. Paradiso chipped in two more free throws a few seconds after two Kalamazoo free throws to keep the game close at 54-48. Saint Mary's, however, was unable to cut any further into the deficit the Kalamazoo added three free throws over the final 33 seconds for the 57-48 final score.
Kalamazoo connected on 36.7 percent (22-of-60) shots in the game to the Belles' 15-of-63 (23.8 percent) shooting effort. The Hornets also outscored Saint Mary's 20-12 in the paint while blocking 10 shots to the Belles' three.
Giavanna Paradiso led all players with 18 points, including a 6-of-6 effort from the free throw line. Gabby Crown posted six points, and Erin Maloney added six points and six steals. Gabby Diamond scored five points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Bern McGeever added five points.
The Belles (6-15, 3-9 MIAA) have their final home game of the season on Wednesday, February 7 when they host Trine at 7:30 p.m.