Belles Edged Out by Panthers

Jade Mosier goes up for a contested shot against a defending player.
HOLLAND, Mich. - The Saint Mary's basketball team shouldered a 61-53 setback against Hanover in the first game of the Hope College Tip Off Classic on Friday evening.
Neither team had much luck getting their offensive efforts started in the first quarter. Jade Mosier and Giavanna Paradiso combined to score the first six points for Saint Mary's as the Belles trailed 7-6 with just over two minutes remaining in the opening stanza. Two Panther free throws followed by a pair of turnovers which resulted in Hanover buckets made it a 13-6 score at the end of the first ten minutes of play as neither team shot better than 28 percent from the floor.
Hannah Cavanaugh opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, and Paradiso added a layup two possessions later to pull the Belles within a bucket at 13-11. The next two minutes saw the teams trade points back and forth before Hanover used a put-back effort to gain a 21-15 advantage. Nikki Murphy scored her first collegiate bucket with a layup, and Bella Dugas got on the scoresheet with a layup of her own as Saint Mary's continued to keep in step with the Panthers. A minute and a half later, Megan Saunders hit a layup to knot the game at 21-21 with 3:31 remaining before halftime. Jade Mosier then connected from behind the arc to give the Belles their first lead of the game at 24-21. Hanover, however, closed out the half with an 11-2 run to hold a 32-26 advantage at the break.
The offense was tough to come by throughout the first six minutes of the third period. Sophie Koeppl drained a three-pointer, and Paradiso added a pair of buckets and two free throws for the Belles as Saint Mary's continued to fight while pulling within a point at 36-35 with 3:31 on the clock. The Panthers extended their lead back to eight points over the next three minutes of play, but Paradiso converted both ends of a trip to the charity stripe to make it a 45-39 score at the end of 30 minutes of play.
The Belles came out strong in the fourth quarter as Bella Dugas hit a jumper in the paint before a pair of Paradiso free throws made it a two-point game at 45-43 less than 1:30 into the stanza. Hanover responded with a three-pointer on their next possession and translated a turnover into points with a fastbreak layup to gain a 50-43 edge. Another three-pointer by the Panthers made it a ten-point deficit, and Hanover then extended the lead to 12 at 57-45 with 5:42 on the clock. Saint Mary's continued to work for a late comeback effort as the Belles pulled within seven points with 2:44 to play, but the Belles ran out of time in a 61-53 final.
Turnovers and second-chance points were both significant factors in the final score. Hanover translated 29 Saint Mary's giveaways into 32 points while the Belles posted seven points off of 16 turnovers by the Panthers. Hanover also used 12 offensive boards to generate 14 second-chance points while Saint Mary's had three offensive rebounds yield four second-chance points.
Giavanna Paradiso paced the Belles with 20 points and eight rebounds. Jade Mosier added 13 points and seven rebounds with three assists. Bella Dugas tallied six points, five rebounds, and three steals.
The Belles (2-1) look to bounce back as they face off against Finlandia on day two of the Hope Tip Off Classic at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.