Belles fall to Flying Dutch in road match
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, February 17, 2017
Saint Mary’s lost its final road game of the season, as Hope got off to a quick start and remained out of reach.
After falling 5-0 behind in the first minute, the Belles brought the game back to within two points thanks to a jumper from junior forward Gabby Diamond and a free throw from sophomore guard Erin Maloney. However, those were the last points the Belles (2-22, 1-14 MIAA) would score for almost 10 minutes, as Hope (22-2, 14-1) built a 23-3 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Belles missed 19 consecutive shots after Diamond’s opener, until senior forward Kelsey Ronan made the score 23-5 early in the second quarter.
The Belles offense improved in the second half, but the Flying Dutch remained productive and widened their lead to 43-18. Saint Mary’s saw only four players score during the first half, while the Flying Dutch had 11 different players all make field goals.
After the offensive struggles in the opening quarter, the Belles struggled defensively in the third. In the period, Hope scored 26 points, a total that would have been higher had the Flying Dutch made more than three of their nine free-throw attempts. By the start of the fourth quarter, Hope had more than doubled Saint Mary’s points, leading the game 69-34.
The Belles put together their most complete quarter of the game in the last period, holding the Flying Dutch to 6-of-16 shooting as they slightly closed the gap to a final score of 81-48, thanks to a shot from sophomore forward Caroline Macius with two seconds remaining.
Diamond led the Belles in points with 13, while adding six rebounds. Freshman guard Ally Steve scored 12 points, while Ronan made three blocks and two steals.
The Belles will play their final home game of the season Saturday, honoring the team’s seniors as they host Olivet. Tipoff is at 3 p.m.