2018 Season Recap
- The Belles surpassed 100 made three-pointers for just the fifth time in program history.
- Several individuals set new single-game career highs in points, rebounds, assists, and steals.
- The team showed marked improvement throughout the season.
The Saint Mary’s basketball team continued to show marked progress throughout the 2017-18 season as the Belles posted the most wins in a single season since the 2013-14 season.
With Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex still under construction, the team had their first four home games of the season at IU South Bend’s Student Activities Center. The first of those “home” games came against Anderson and resulted in a four-point victory for Saint Mary’s over the Ravens. After a stretch of tough competition to close out November and begin December, the team got back in the win column with a nail-biting 66-65 win over Alma for their first MIAA win of the year.
Less than two weeks later, the team overtook John Carroll late in the contest for a 63-59 win at DePauw's Amy Hasbrook Classic. After falling to Wisconsin-Stevens Point on day two of that tournament, the Belles rattled off back-to-back conference wins to give themselves three consecutive MIAA victories by taking down Olivet and Kalamazoo. The last time the team won three straight conference games was February 2012.
The team then had to square off against three of the top four teams in the league in the form of nationally-ranked Trine, nationally-ranked Hope, and Calvin. After falling to both Trine and Hope, the Belles took Calvin down to the wire in a nail-biter at Angela Athletic & Wellness Complex before falling in overtime. After narrow setbacks against Adrian and Olivet, the Belles were firing on all cylinders in a 73-42 win over Illinois Tech to close out the month of January.
February was filled with closely played contests. The Belles led at the end of the first quarter against nationally-ranked Trine, were within a point of nationally-ranked Hope during the second quarter, and played down to the wire on the road in a setback at Albion to close out the season. In the double round robin conference schedule format, Saint Mary’s made big improvements against the top four teams in the conference during the second match up of the season by closing the scoring gap by an average of 22.5 points per contest.
Overall, the 2017-18 team had one of the best statistical seasons in recent history in terms of points allowed. The Belles surrendered fewer than 70 points per contest overall with a 67.4 points per game allowed average in MIAA contests. The last time a Saint Mary’s basketball team had better numbers was in the 2011-12 season (61.2 ppg in MIAA play). The team blocked 74 shots during the season on defense, marking the most blocked shots for a Belles squad since 2008-09. Additionally, the Belles hit 103 three-pointers on the season, marking just the second time in the last ten years and fifth time ever the team has connected on over 100 shots from behind the arc.
During the span of the season, a handful of players were honored with various accolades. Gabby Diamond garnered all-tournament team honors at the North Park Tip-Off Tournament, Erin Maloney received the all-tournament team nod at the Thomas More Julie Costello Memorial Classic, and Giavanna Paradiso was an all-tournament team honoree at the DePauw Amy Hasbrook Classic. Diamond also picked up MIAA Player of the Week honors on January 8 while being named Second Team All-MIAA at the conclusion of the season.
Several individual student-athletes posted new career-highs in both individual games and total season statistical categories. Gabby Crown, Gabby Diamond, Kelsey Trimble, Erin Maloney, Caroline Macius, Olivia Lathers, and Delaney Rohlman each set new single-game highs for either points, rebounds, assists, or a combination of categories in 2017-18. Additionally, Crown, Trimble, Maloney, Macius, Lathers, and Rohlman each set new high marks single-season points.
Several newcomers had a big impact on the team in their first year with the Belles. Giavanna Paradiso led the team in scoring and field goal percentage. Megan Saunders was fourth in scoring and second in assists while Bern McGeever was third in field goal percentage and fourth in rebounds. The Belles finished the season 6-19 overall with a 3-13 mark in MIAA play.