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Fourth Quarter Run Not Enough for Belles at Anderson

Erin Maloney, wearing an all-white uniform, dribbles the basketball from left to right with an opposing player, wearing maroon, in pursuit. Several people are sitting in the bleachers in the background.

ANDERSON, Ind. - Saint Mary's opened the fourth quarter with a 9-2 run, but host Anderson made nine of the ten free throws they took over the final 1:03 of play as the Ravens took a 78-67 decision over the Belles on Tuesday evening.

The two sides traded buckets back-and-forth over the opening 6:26 of play as the Ravens held a narrow 10-8 lead. Anderson then rattled off the next six points over a span of less than two minutes. Giavanna Paradiso converted a three-point play, and Jade Mosier added a layup on the next possession by the Belles to cut the deficit to three at 16-13 with under a minute remaining in the quarter. The Ravens hit a three-pointer with their next possession, and both sides missed chances late in the period as Anderson carried a 19-13 lead into the second quarter.

The Ravens scored on seven consecutive possessions midway through the second period to gain a 37-21 lead with 2:28 on the clock. The resilient Belles came right back with a 7-0 run over the final 2:10 of the quarter to get right back in business at 37-28. Carin Kaminski, Sophie Koeppl, Jade Mosier, and Bella Dugas all contributed points during that run as Saint Mary's carried some momentum into the halftime break.

Both teams shot over 60 percent from the floor in the third quarter. After an early scoring spurt by the hosts gave Anderson a 46-33 lead, Saint Mary's again fought their way right back into the game with a 10-2 run to make it a five-point contest at 48-43. Paradiso started the run with a layup, and Erin Maloney added a layup of her own on an extended possession. Paradiso hit a free throw with 4:53 on the clock, Kelsie Bies drained a three-pointer, and Maloney capped off the run with a layup to force the Ravens into calling a timeout with 3:33 on the clock. Consecutive buckets by Anderson pushed the lead back to nine at 52-43, and the teams continued to trade buckets as the Ravens held a 58-48 advantage going into the fourth quarter.

Saint Mary's opened the fourth period with a 9-0 run to once again get right back into the game. Koeppl opened the run with a three-pointer, and Paradiso hit a second-chance layup two possessions later. The sophomore then sunk a pair of free throws and added another layup to make it 58-57 with just under seven minutes remaining. A three-point play by Paradiso less than a minute later knotted the score at 60-60. Saint Mary's continued to keep within striking distance with four minutes to play, but Anderson hit a layup and a three-pointer to gain a multi-possession lead at 69-61 with 2:22 to go. Sophie Koeppl converted both ends of a trip to the charity stripe with under two minutes left on the clock. The Ravens, however, hit eight consecutive free throws while the Belles were able to counter with four free throws as Anderson built a 77-67 lead with 36 seconds to play. The next three shots for Saint Mary's were off the mark, and the Ravens added one additional free throw for the 78-67 final score.

The Belles outscored the Ravens 24-10 in points off of turnovers, but Anderson connected on 28-of-54 (51.9 percent) of their shots from the floor while Saint Mary's shot 32.1 percent (18-of-56) from the floor in the contest. The Belles had a season-best 28 made free throws while making a season-high 87.5 percent (28-of-32) of their efforts from the charity stripe.

Giavanna Paradiso led the Belles with 26 points, which included a 12-of-13 effort from the free throw line. The sophomore added five rebounds and a pair of assists. Jade Mosier had eight points and a game-high ten rebounds, and Erin Maloney scored eight points and tallied two assists. Sophie Koeppl had seven points for the Belles.

The Belles (2-3) are off for the Thanksgiving holiday and return to action on Wednesday, November 28 when they travel to Dominican for a 6:00 p.m CST contest.