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SMC Basketball

Saint Mary’s drops two straight games despite career-best efforts from Gabby Diamond

| Friday, December 2, 2016

Saint Mary’s moved to 1-4 for the season, losing its last two out-of-conference games before MIAA play begins, despite two big scoring performances by junior forward Gabby Diamond.

At Anderson, the Belles (1-4) took an early 6-0 lead, with all six points scored by Diamond, but a 16-3 run by the Ravens (3-3) put Saint Mary’s behind by a score of 16-9 and led to them trailing 21-18 at the end of the first quarter, despite Diamond’s 12 points in the period.

In the second half, the Ravens began to pull away, stretching their lead out from 25-24 just over two minutes into the quarter to 48-35 by halftime. Diamond, however, continued to add to her scoring tally, reaching 20 points by halftime, along with five rebounds.

The Belles brought the game back to within four points thanks to a 3-pointer by senior guard Aspen Davis midway through the third quarter, but the Ravens built their lead back up to as much as 11 and led 61-53 with one quarter remaining.

The Belles came close to making a comeback in the final quarter, as a 3-pointer from freshman guard Ally Steve made it a one-point game with just over two minutes remaining. However, the Ravens made it a five-point lead again with 1:20 remaining before making five of their six free throws down the stretch to win 82-72. Diamond finished the game with a then-career-high 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Against Benedictine, the Belles played out a close first quarter, trailing 16-13 after a late Eagles jumper, before finding themselves finding themselves 25 points behind at halftime after a one-sided second quarter where Diamond attempted only one shot and scored no points.

The third quarter was closer, but the Eagles (5-1) did manage to further increase their lead to 31 points. And though the Belles outscored the Eagles in the fourth quarter, it was not enough to capture the lead, and they lost 87-58. Diamond ended the game with 28 points — including 20 in the second half — and two blocks. Diamond is now averaging 19.8 points per game and is on pace to be the highest-scoring Belles player since Alison Kessler in 2007-08.

The Belles begin MIAA play Saturday, when they face Albion. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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