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Belles Hang Tough with No. 7 Thunder

Giavanna Paradiso, wearing a navy blue uniform, goes up for a layup with two defending players in white next to her to the left.
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Belles made 52.6 percent of their shots in the third and fourth quarters, but it was not enough as the Saint Mary's basketball team fell by a 69-55 final score at No. 7 ranked (WBCA III Top 25 Coaches' Poll) Trine on Wednesday.

The host Thunder put the first seven points on the scoreboard and kicked off the game on a 12-2 scoring spurt, but the Belles stayed resilient as they battled for good shots that just would not fall. Delaney Rohlman helped generate some offense with a three-pointer late in the period to make it a 13-5 game. Trine got a free throw back on their next possession, but Giavanna Paradiso put the final points on the scoreboard with a good jump shot to make it 14-7 after ten minutes of action.

Paradiso then opened the second stanza with a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to five points. A minute later, a layup by the Thunder started a 10-0 run as Trine established a 24-9 advantage. After a timeout, Jade Mosier drove to the basket and drew a foul before converting both attempts at the charity stripe. The two sides traded buckets back-and-forth over the next two minutes of play, and Carin Kaminski hit two free throws with under three minutes remaining on the clock to make it a 28-15 game. A short while later, Paradiso banked in a layup as the Belles continued to fight. At the other end, the Saint Mary's defense dug in deep and forced a shot clock violation by the Thunder. The Belles were unable to capitalize on that chance while Trine hit a shot inside to push the score to 31-17 with 1:20 to play before the half. Giavanna Paradiso responded by sinking a three-pointer from the top of the key, and Erin Maloney followed suit on the next Saint Mary's possession with a three-pointer of her own to put the Belles back in the mix at 31-23. Trine, however, added a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the quarter to make it a 34-23 score at the halftime break.

Trine came out of the break and hit a three on the first possession of play, but the Belles countered with a 6-0 scoring spurt to keep close. Paradiso was fouled on a put-back attempt and made both free throws, Caroline Macius hit a deep jump shot from the right side of the floor, and Paradiso added a layup to make it a 37-29 score early in the period. After another Trine three-pointer, Paradiso put a free throw and a layup in as the difference still stood at eight points. The Thunder used a three-pointer and a layup to gain a 45-32 edge, but Jade Mosier drained a contested three-pointer to make it a ten-point difference. Bella Dugas sunk a mid-range jumper, and Paradiso nailed a three-pointer from the corner as the two teams battled back-and-forth with buckets. The Belles defense made back-to-back stops, and Bella Dugas ended the quarter with another mid-range jumper to make it a 51-42 score going into the fourth quarter. Saint Mary's (53.8 percent) out-shot Trine (46.7 percent) in the third period as the Belles out-scored the Thunder 19-17.

The two sides continued to trade points as Delaney Rohlman and Paradiso each came up with response scores as the Belles stayed within ten points at 56-46. The Thunder, however, went on an 8-0 run over the next three minutes of play to gain a 64-46 advantage with 4:36 to play. Paradiso put Saint Mary's back in the scoring column with a jump shot, but Trine was able to build a 20-point lead with just over two minutes remaining on a three-pointer. That largest lead of the game was short-lived, however, as Jade Mosier sunk a three on the next possession. Rohlman added a free throw, and Erin Maloney hit both ends of a trip to the free throw line to close out the scoring for the game as the contest ended 69-55. 

Both sides ended the game with 24 rebounds in the contest. Saint Mary's shot 15-of-19 (78.9 percent) from the free throw line while holding Trine to a 6-of-8 (75.0 percent) effort at the charity stripe. The Belles also had a 10-8 scoring margin in points off the bench, but Trine out-scored Saint Mary's 32-14 in points in the paint on the night.

Giavanna Paradiso led all players with 23 points after shooting 8-of-14 (57.1 percent) from the floor and 2-of-2 behind the arc. Jade Mosier added 11 points while also connecting on both of her three-point attempts. Delaney Rohlman chipped in six points, and Bella Dugas posted six points and a game-high five rebounds.

The Belles (10-12, 7-6 MIAA) return home on Saturday to host No. 8 Hope at 3:00 p.m.