Last-Second Bucket Lifts Belles Over Ravens

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ANDERSON, Ind. - For the second time in three games, the Saint Mary's basketball team got a game-winning basket with three seconds left. This time, Ariana Paul hit a jump shot in the final seconds to lift the Belles to a 63-62 win at Anderson University on Tuesday night.

Saint Mary's stormed out to a 10-point lead in just over five minutes of play. The Belles made seven of their first nine shots of the contest to establish the early advantage.

Anderson chipped away at the Saint Mary's lead late in the first half. The Ravens used a 15-5 run over a five-minute span to turn a four-point deficit into a six-point lead with 1:40 left in the opening period. With back-to-back baskets and a good jump shot by Annie Doyle with two seconds left on the clock in the first half, the Belles went to the break trailing by just two points

Midway through the second half, the host Ravens took their biggest lead of the night as they held an eight-point advantage over the Belles. It was Saint Mary's turn to chip away at Anderson. With an 11-2 run, the Belles regained the lead on a three-point play by Doyle with 5:30 remaining. The contest was tied for the sixth time at 59-59 with three-and-a-half minutes to go. The score did not change again until the Ravens made only the second of two free throws for the 60-59 lead with under a minute remaining.

On the next possession, Ariana Paul hit her first of two big baskets in the closing seconds of the game. The sophomore hit a jumper with :33 left to put the Belles up 61-60. Anderson took the lead back on their next possession with a layup with 20 seconds on the clock to put the pressure on Saint Mary's. Paul then drained the game-winner with three seconds left to give the Belles the 63-62 victory on the road.

Saint Mary's out-shot Anderson 56-44, and the Belles made 26 baskets to the Ravens' 22. Saint Mary's also out-scored Anderson 30-18 in the paint.

Four Belles ended the game with 10+ point efforts. Shanlynn Bias had a team-high 14 points while Eleni Shea added 12 points. Annie Doyle had a strong all-around performance with 10 points, five assists, and four steals. Ariana Paul also added 10 points, including the game-winning shot. Emily Page, meanwhile made both of her shots from the floor and all four of her free throws to finish with eight points.

The Belles (2-1) will host the Saint Mary's Thanksgiving Classic Saturday and Sunday and will take on Otterbein on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.