Belles Fall Short Against Pointers
- Giavanna Paradiso paced the Belles with 16 points while going 10-of-10 from the free throw line.
- Gabby Diamond added nine points and five rebounds.
- Paradiso was named to the all-tournament team for her performance over the weekend.
GREENCASTLE, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team fell by a 67-48 final score against Wisconsin-Stevens Point on day two of DePauw's Amy Hasbrook Classic.
The two sides played a tight first quarter of action. After the Pointers stuck first, Erin Maloney put the Belles on the scoreboard with a three-pointer. Stevens Point tallied the next five points of the game for a 7-3 lead with 6:06 left on the clock in the opening period. Bern McGeever made an immediate impact with a good jump shot less than a minute later. The Pointers responded with a three-pointer, but Giavanna Paradiso hit both free throws on the Belles' next possession. Maloney collected a steal and a fastbreak layup a minute later, and McGeever drained a jump shot two possessions later to knot the game at 11-11 with 2:22 to play in the quarter. Stevens Point regained the lead with a three-point play, but Delaney Rohlman sunk a layup to make it a 14-13 score with more than a minute remaining in the period. Neither side was able to hit a shot over the final stretch of the quarter as the contest moved to the second period at that same 14-13 score.
Paradiso opened up the second quarter with a pair of free throws to give Saint Mary's a 15-14 lead. The Pointers hit a three-pointer and used a pair of extended possessions to claim a 20-15 advantage before extending their lead to 10 points at 25-15 with 4:20 remaining before halftime. Megan Saunders put a stop to the scoring run with back-to-back three-pointers as the Belles cut within four points with 3:13 still on the clock. Stevens Point countered with an 8-0 spurt over the next 1:33 to push their lead to 12 at 33-21. The Belles responded with five points over the final 40 seconds of the half - a three-point play by Paradiso and a layup by Saunders - to take the momentum into the halftime break while trailing just 33-26.
Saint Mary's carried over that momentum into the third quarter with Paradiso and Gabby Diamond contributing points over the opening 4:25 of the quarter as the Belles pulled within 35-32 of the Pointers. Despite getting a handful of good looks at the basket over the next minute and a half, Saint Mary's was unable get any of those shots to fall while Stevens Point scored on four consecutive possessions to regain a double-digit lead at 44-32 with 3:51 to play in the third quarter. Giavanna Paradiso put Saint Mary's back on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws with just over two minutes remaining in the period, and Bern McGeever had a steal and layup late in the quarter to pull the Belles within 10 and 11 points, respectively. The Pointers, however, scored on their final possession of the period to take a 49-36 lead heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
Gabby Diamond collected a steal and hit a fastbreak layup at the other end for the first points of the fourth quarter, but Stevens Point responded with six consecutive points to gain a 17-point lead at 55-38 with 6:10 on the clock. The Belles were unable to pull within fewer than 11 points in the final stanza of action.
Wisconsin-Stevens Point held a 44-29 edge in rebounds with a 19-9 advantage in offensive rebounds. The Pointers outscored the Belles 30-18 in the paint and 13-7 in second-chance points in the game.
At the conclusion of the tournament, Giavanna Paradiso was named to the all-tournament team. The freshman scored 44 points and pulled down 18 rebounds while shooting 65.0 percent from the floor and 94.4 percent from the free throw line in the two games combined.
In the game, Giavanna Paradiso paced the Belles with 16 points while going 10-of-10 from the free throw line. The performance at the charity stripe matches the seventh-most made free throws without a miss in a single game in all of Division III women's basketball thus far this season. Gabby Diamond added nine points and five rebounds. Megan Saunders tallied eight points, and Erin Maloney had seven points, three assists, two blocked shots, and two steals.
The Belles (3-9) return to MIAA action on Wednesday, January 3 when they host Olivet at IU-South Bend's Student Activities Center at 7:30 p.m.