Belles Fall to Hot-Shooting Thunder

Bella Dugas dribbles the basketball.
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The Saint Mary's basketball team came up short against in-state conference foe Trine in a 97-48 final on Saturday afternoon.
 
Maddie Rzepka opened the scoring with a good mid-range jump shot on the Belles' first possession of the contest. The Thunder posted the next seven points to gain a 7-2 edge at 7:08. Bella Dugas responded a put-back jumper in the paint, and Rzepka completed a three-point play on the next Saint Mary's possession to keep the Belles close at 9-7 four minutes into the game. Christina Shadid drained a three-pointer from the right side of the floor to make it an 11-10 game in favor of Trine with 5:20 remaining in the opening period. After a Trine jump shot, Kelsie Bies converted both ends of a trip to the free throw line to again edge Saint Mary's within a point at 13-12. Another spurt of seven points by the Thunder gave the visiting side a 20-12 lead with just under 2:30 on the clock. Nikki Murphy added a free throw, and Giavanna Paradiso hit a pair of free throws of her own to cut the deficit to seven. The Thunder pushed their lead to nine late in the quarter, but a hard-fought Bella Dugas layup in the waning seconds of the period made it a 24-17 game at the first break.
 
A jumper by Paradiso and a three-pointer by Murphy kept the Belles within striking distance at 28-19 and 31-22, but the Thunder rattled off a 20-2 run over the next 5:06 to take a 51-24 lead with under a minute remaining in the quarter. Paradiso converted a three-point play with less than 30 seconds left on the clock, and the score stood at that same 51-27 margin at the halftime break.
 
That second-quarter run, however, was enough to shift the momentum for good in the contest as Trine held at least a 24-point lead for the remainder of the game.
 
Saint Mary's shot 41.7 percent from the floor and had a 29.4 percent effort from three-point range in the contest. Trine shot a season-high 58.9 percent from the floor and connected on 46.4 percent of their attempts from behind the arc.
 
Bella Dugas led the Belles with 10 points and five rebounds. Nikki Murphy added eight points, and Giavanna Paradiso posted seven points. Maddie Rzepka and Christina Shadid each tallied six points.
 
The Belles (4-5, 1-1 MIAA) have a break from conference competition and will travel to cross-town foe IU-South Bend on Wednesday for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.