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Belles Stymied by Thunder

Giavanna Paradiso works to dribble past a defending player.
ANGOLA, Ind. - Host Trine opened the third quarter with a 14-0 run and the Belles could not make up the difference over the final 15 minutes of play as the Saint Mary's basketball team fell by a 66-37 score in conference action on Wednesday night.
 
Trine scored on their first possession before establishing a 7-0 lead through the first 5:02 of play, but Saint Mary's came right back with the next five points of the contest. Giavanna Paradiso made a pair of free throws, and Christina Shadid drained a three-pointer to make it a 7-5 game with four minutes remaining in the opening stanza. The Thunder posted five consecutive points over the next two-plus minutes for a 12-7 advantage. Jade Mosier dialed one in from long distance to cut the deficit to four points at 12-8, and Bella Dugas hit a jumper in the closing seconds of the quarter on the next Saint Mary's possession as the Belles trailed 14-10 through the first ten minutes of play. 
 
After a scoreless drought of more than two minutes by both sides, Mosier hit another three-pointer to make it a 14-13 game with 7:23 on the clock in the second quarter. The Thunder responded with a three-pointer of their own, but Olivia Lathers sunk a jumper just inside the arc to make it a 17-15 game. Both sides were held scoreless for another extended stretch of play as the teams dialed up the defensive efforts to keep each other from any easy opportunities. Trine eventually added to the scoring column with a three-pointer with under four minutes remaining before halftime. Giavanna Paradiso hit a free throw a short while later to keep the Belles within striking distance at 22-16, and a Christina Shadid free throw with under two minutes to play pushed the score to 26-17. Trine, however, took some momentum into the locker room with a late three-pointer for a 29-17 lead at the half.
 
The Thunder used a 14-0 run to open the third quarter as Trine gained a 43-17 lead. Paradiso stopped the scoring drought with two free throws, but three turnovers and a missed layup on the next four possessions for the Belles held Saint Mary's from making a much-needed response run in the quarter. Shadid posted two free throws, Maddie Rzepka fought her way to a power layup, and Paradiso added another free throw over the final 3:13 of the quarter, but the Belles had a tall task in facing a 50-24 deficit going into the final ten minutes of play.
 
Saint Mary's continued to show their grit and fight and Paradiso opened the fourth period with a layup. Mosier added a layup, and Olivia Lathers hit a fastbreak layup a minute later to make it a 53-30 game with more than seven minutes remaining. With five minutes to play, Mosier cut across the lane before connecting on a layup. Rzepka added a long two-pointer two possessions later to again make it a 23-point game at 57-34, but the Belles were unable to edge any closer down the stretch in the 66-37 final.
 
Giavanna Paradiso led the Belles with 11 points and 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the year. Jade Mosier added 10 points and eight rebounds with three assists. Christina Shadid chipped in six points for Saint Mary's. Olivia Lathers and Maddie Rzepka each posted four points, and Bella Dugas tallied two points.
 
The Belles (6-9, 3-3 MIAA) return home to host Hope on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear green to the game as the basketball team partners with the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) for a Green Dot Awareness game. Representatives from BAVO will have an information table with resources about Green Dot - a national bystander intervention program.