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Belles earn first win of season

| Sunday, November 23, 2014

Saint Mary’s stifled Trinity’s offense Saturday to claim its first victory of the season, 79-36, at the Chicago Marriott Naperville Tip-Off Tournament.

The Belles (1-3) quickly took a ten-point lead over the Trojans (0-8), establishing their presence in the paint early with points from senior forward Ariana Paul and freshman forward Gabby Diamond.

Saint Mary’s did not relinquish this early lead for the remainder of the game. The Trojans did not establish a shooting presence throughout the game, particularly in the first half, when they converted only three field goals in 32 attempts. The Belles, on the other hand, made 36 percent of their first-half field goals.

The Belles also performed well at the foul line in the first half, making eight of 10. The Trojans went to the free throw line only five times and converted three. Several scoring runs for the Belles gave them a 32-11 lead at the conclusion of the first frame of play.

Foul trouble continued to be a problem for the Trojans in the second half. The Belles scored thirteen more points from the line to bring their total free throw percentage to 75 percent on the evening. The Trojans totaled 26 total personal fouls compared to 16 for the Belles, allowing Saint Mary’s to compensate for the scoring of Trinity sophomore guard Ariel Miree, who paced the Trojans with 16 points on the night.

The Belles pulled away with a 16-4 run midway through the second half, giving them a 30-point cushion.

The Belles also out-rebounded Trinity by a 69-35 margin. Three Belles — Paul and junior forwards Krista Knapke and Elani Shea — ended the game with more than 10 rebounds, earning each of them a double-double. Diamond and junior guard Sarah Macius also scored in double digits for the Belles.

Saint Mary’s concluded its participation in the tournament with one win and one loss. Paul’s efforts earned her a place on the all-tournament team.

The Belles continue their road swing with a trip to Anderson, Indiana, where they will face the Anderson Ravens (1-1) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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