CHICAGO, Ill. - The Saint Mary's basketball team poured in 11 points in the final 3:30 of the first quarter en route to a 66-33 win over Illinois Tech on Tuesday night.
Jade Mosier, Giavanna Paradiso, and Kelsie Bies put up seven combined points on the Belles' first five possessions to establish a 7-2 lead through the opening three minutes of action. Both sides hit a scoreless drought over the next three-and-a-half minutes of play, but Sophie Koeppl drained back-to-back three-pointers to kick off a late scoring run in the opening quarter for Saint Mary's. Bies added a three-pointer of her own, and Giavanna Paradiso sunk a layup in the final 10 seconds of the period to give the Belles a 19-4 lead at the first break.
Saint Mary's opened the second quarter with a 17-3 run to establish a 36-7 lead with 3:24 remaining before the halftime break. During that span, Bies sunk two three-pointers, Paradiso added another layup, Bella Dugas had a pair of layups, and Abigail Knopps drained a three-pointer of her own. After a pair of buckets by the host Scarlet Hawks, Molly Heath got on the scoresheet in a big way with a three-pointer of her own for a 28-point lead at 39-11. Bella Dugas chipped in a layup in the final minute, but Illinois Tech ended the period with a layup in the final seconds to make it a 41-14 score at halftime.
Both sides posted their best shooting percentage of the contest in the third quarter. The Scarlet Hawks connected on 5-of-8 shots (62.5 percent) from the floor while the Belles shot 54.5 percent (6-of-11) of their shots in the 10-minute period. Neither side scored more than six consecutive points as Saint Mary's out-scored Illinois Tech 15-13 in the period.
In contrast, both sides had trouble generating offense over the final 10 minutes of play. As they did in each of the previous three quarters, the Belles out-scored their counterparts (10-6) to keep the game well out of reach. Molly Heath hit back-to-back three-pointers to close out the scoring in the contest with the 66-33 margin of victory.
Jade Mosier led all players with 13 points on a 6-of-7 shooting effort on the night while adding six rebounds. Kelsie Bies added 12 points, and Bella Dugas collected her first collegiate double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Molly Heath chipped in nine points, and Giavanna Paradiso scored eight points and pulled down seven rebounds.
The Belles (2-0) are off to their first 2-0 start since the 2010-11 season. Saint Mary's hits the hardwood on Friday when they travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Lutheran Paul Knueppel Classic. The Belles open the weekend tournament with a 7:00 p.m. CST contest against host Wisconsin Lutheran.