Shooting Woes Set Belles Back Against No. 12 Thunder
- Giavanna Paradiso led Saint Mary's with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
- Gabby Diamond posted six points and six rebounds.
- Bern McGeever added four points.
ANGOLA, Ind. - The opportunities to pull off an upset on the road were there, but the Saint Mary's basketball team was held to their lowest single-game shooting percentage of the season as the Belles suffered a 51-31 setback against No. 12 Trine on Saturday afternoon.
The Belles played toe-to-toe with the nationally-ranked Thunder throughout the first quarter of play. Gabby Diamond and Giavanna Paradiso hit a pair of shots early for Saint Mary's as the Belles claimed a 4-2 lead 2:29 into play. Trine responded with five straight points, but Diamond had an offensive board and put-back with 4:25 on the clock to make it a 7-6 game. A free throw and a layup by the Thunder gave the home side a 10-6 advantage. Saint Mary's came right back with a layup by Bern McGeever on the next possession to make it 10-8. Neither side converted a scoring chance over the final minute-plus of the quarter as the game moved to the second period 10-8 in Trine's favor.
The Thunder opened up the second quarter with a 9-0 run over the first 1:56 of play to gain a 19-8 lead. Giavanna Paradiso drew a foul while shooting and connected on both of her free throws to cut the deficit to single digits at 19-10. Saint Mary's had a chance to chip further away at the Thunder lead as Trine had a scoreless drought over the next two-plus minutes of play, but the Belles had similar misfortune from the field as the score stood at 19-10 with 5:30 to play before halftime. Trine broke up the scoreless stretch with a three-pointer, but both teams again hit a span of more than three minutes with neither side being able to put points on the scoreboard. It was Paradiso's turn to put up points as the freshman added two more free throws to push the score to 22-12 with 2:20 remaining on the clock. The Thunder, however, closed out the quarter with six consecutive points to carry a 28-12 lead into the halftime break.
Saint Mary's pulled within 14 points twice in the third quarter. Paradiso and Diamond contributing early buckets to make it 30-16 at the 7:21 mark. Three-plus minutes later, Caroline Macius had a perfect post-up play on an in-bounds play and converted in the paint to make it 32-18 with 3:52 on the clock. Trine responded with a three-pointer on an extended possession, and the Thunder closed out the period on a 9-0 run for a 41-18 advantage going into the final quarter.
The Belles out-scored Trine 13-10 over the final quarter. Erin Maloney and Gabby Crown each hit a three-pointer; Kelsey Trimble, Bern McGeever, and Paradiso each hit a bucket; and Delaney Rohlman added a free throw for Saint Mary's in the fourth period. The deficit, however, was too much for to overtake late as the No. 12 Thunder claimed the 51-31 decision.
Saint Mary's limited Trine to their second-lowest shooting percentage in a conference game this season (37.0 percent), but the Belles were able to convert on just 12-of-64 attempts from the floor (18.8 percent) in the contest. The Belles had more offensive rebounds (19) than the Thunder (18) and helped force Trine into their highest number of turnovers in an MIAA competition (18) thus far.
Giavanna Paradiso led Saint Mary's with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Gabby Diamond posted six points and six rebounds. Bern McGeever added four points. Erin Maloney had a game-best five steals to go along with three points and three assists.
The Belles (5-10, 3-4 MIAA) host their first game in the newly renovated and expanded Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex on Wednesday, January 17 when Hope travels to Saint Mary's for a 7:30 p.m. contest.