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First Quarter Shooting Leads to Setback for Belles Against Gorloks

Giavanna Paradiso, wearing a white uniform, dribbles the ball with a player in maroon immediately to the left and another opposing player in the background.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - A tough-shooting start for the Belles proved to be too much to overcome as the Saint Mary's basketball team lost a 70-49 contest at Webster on Saturday afternoon.
Webster put the first three points on the scoreboard, but Sophie Koeppl quickly knotted things up at 3-3 with a three-pointer on the Belles' second possession of the contest. Saint Mary's had a tough time getting shots to fall while the Gorloks rattled off a 12-0 run over the next 2:20 of play. Megan Saunders broke up the scoring drought with a jump shot, and Caroline Macius added a layup two possessions later to make it a 17-7 score with more than five minutes still remaining on the clock. The next three minutes of play saw Webster net a three-pointer as both sides had several chances to put up points. Giavanna Paradiso added a layup with 2:13 on the clock for a 21-9 score, but Saint Mary's was unable to get a bounce over the remainder of the period. The Belles were limited to 28.6 percent (4-of-14) in the first quarter as the host Gorloks connected on better than 64 percent (11-of-17) in that same period for a 27-9 lead through 10 minutes of play.
The two sides went back-and-forth over much of the second quarter with Paradiso, Kelsie Bies, and Saunders each registering points as the Belles continued to trail by the same 18-point margin midway through the stanza. Saunders drained a three-pointer a few minutes later, and Paradiso hit the front end of a trip to the charity stripe in the final minute to push the score to 38-19 in favor of the Gorloks at the halftime break.
A 7-2 spurt in the third quarter made it a 44-28 score with just under six minutes remaining on the clock as Paradiso, Erin Maloney, and Bella Dugas each put points on the scoreboard for Saint Mary's. The Gorloks responded with back-to-back buckets, but Giavana Paradiso converted a three-point play with 4:27 on the clock as the Belles continued to battle. Webster came back with four more points before Erin Maloney drained a three-pointer. The Gorloks pushed their lead back to 23 points with a three-pointer of their own. Caroline Macius had a jumper and a free throw, and Giavanna Paradiso closed out the quarter with a layup off of a pass from Macius as the score stood at 69-39 heading into the final quarter.
Paradiso put the first six Saint Mary's points on the scoreboard, and Dugas added a layup to make it a 67-47 score with 4:27 to play. Neither side was able to get a shot to fall over the next 2:40 of play until Caroline Macius hit a layup, but the Gorloks closed out the game with three points over the final 1:30 of play for the 70-49 final.
Webster connected on 47.4 (25-of-57) shots in the contest while Saint Mary's shot 34.6 percent (18-of-52). The Gorloks held a 38-33 edge in rebounds and out-scored the Belles 27-11 in points off of turnovers.
Giavanna Paradiso led all players with 21 points and had a team-high six rebounds. Megan Saunders and Caroline Macius each added seven points, and Erin Maloney chipped in five points. Saunders and Maloney each notched three steals, and Kelsie Bies registered three assists.
The Belles (5-8) return to conference competition when they travel to Olivet on Tuesday, January 2 for a 7:30 p.m. contest against the Comets.