Cape Girardeau, Mo – The Belmont women’s basketball dug in its collective heels and pulled out a gutsy win, thwarting a late rally on the road Tuesday. The Bruins (4-11, 1-1 OVC) defeated Southeast Missouri State (4-10, 0-1 OVC), 81-74, snapping a seven-game skid.
After a slow offensive start by both teams, the Bruins were able to get on the board behind a put back jumper by junior Jordyn Luffman (Lawrenceburg, Tenn.). Both teams worked to find an offensive rhythm and continued to push as they traded baskets early. A triple from the top of the arc by junior Torie Vaught (Maryville, Tenn.) put BU up by one, 10-9 with 12:23 on the clock.
The teams began trading baskets again, looking to build a momentum midway through the first stanza. A great pass into the paint by junior Adrienne Tarrence (Bowling Green, Ky.) to rookie Lauren Thompson (Franklin, Tenn.) knotted the score at 18 with just under eight minutes left in the half.
Belmont defeats SEMO 81-74 (Mateen Sidiq Nashville Sports Network)
A pair of free throws by freshman Meredith Roman (Knoxville, Tenn.) gave BU a five-point advantage, 26-21, with 5:48 left. Suddenly, the Bruins found their groove and turned up the heat, swishing the net from all over the floor with points coming from redshirt freshman Frankie Joubran (Detroit, Mich.), Luffman, and Tarrence. After the flurry, Belmont was up by 10, 37-27, with two and a half minutes remaining in the half. Vaught nailed a triple from the top of the arc again, sending the team to the locker room with a 40-27 lead.
Southeast Missouri State immediately went to work to open the second half, scoring four quick points in hopes of trimming the BU lead down but Thompson put in some work of her own, driving for a pair of layups. Luffman followed, knocking down a pair at the stripe and the Redhawks called a timeout in an attempt to slow the streaking Bruins. The Redhawks briefly surged and moved to within 10, 50-40, around the 14 minute mark but Luffman drilled a trey from the left side of the arc to keep distance between the teams.
SEMO fell ice cold from the hardwood for upwards of three and a half minutes as the Bruins continued to pile on the points. The Redhawks emerged netting back-to-back three pointers to move within nine points, 62-53, with 7:33 left in regulation. However, the Bruins settled down and were able to put together a 6-0 run to pull ahead 70-58 three minutes later.
SEMO surged once again behind a pair of three pointers, closing the gap to 71-66, with 2:21 left. Tough defense forced a five seconds call on an inbounds play, allowing the Redhawks to quickly score and draw a foul to move within, three, 73-70. Brianna Mitchell hit both at the free-throw line and made it a one-point game, 73-72, with 1:13 remaining on the clock. However, the Bruins refused to relinquish the lead and turned in a stellar performance at the stripe, taking full advantage of being in the double bonus. BU went 6-for-6 in the final 45 seconds to seal the 81-74 victory.
The Redhawks shot 38.8 percent from the floor, 25 percent from three-point range and 66.7 percent from the free-throw line. SEMO held the advantage in steals, 5-1.
Southeast Missouri State had three players in double figures – Patricia Mack with 14, Kara Wright with 13 and Brianna Mitchell with 12. Mack also notched a double-double with a game-high 15 rebounds.
Belmont shot a season-best 58.7 percent from the hardwood, 54.5 percent from behind the three-point arc and 80.8 percent from the charity stripe. The Bruins held the advantage in rebounds, 36-34, assists, 12-10, and blocks, 2-1.
Luffman scored a career and game-high 24 points. Tarrence was one shy of her career-high with 14 points. Junior Taylor Mills (Corryton, Tenn.) contributed nine points in the effort. Joubran pulled down nine rebounds.
Belmont returns to action on Saturday, January 4 at the Curb Event Center. The Bruins host in-state rival Tennessee Tech in an OVC matchup beginning at 2:00pm. The game can be seen live on the OVC Digital Network and heard live via the internet on the Bruins Sports Network. Live stats and an in-game Twitter feed (@BelmontWBB) will also be available.
SectionsAnnouncements, Associations, Basketball (Women), Belmont University, Colleges, Featured Story, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Sports
TopicsAdrienne Tarrence, Basketeball, Belmont Athletics, Belmont Basketball, Belmont Lady Bruins, Belmont Sports, Belmont University, Bowling Green, Bowling Green Kentucky, Brianna Mitchell, Bruins, Bruins Sports Network, BU, Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau Missouri, Corryton Tennessee, Curb Event Center, detroit, detroit michigan, Frankie Joubran, Franklin, Franklin Tennessee, Jordyn Luffman, Kara Wright, Kentucky, Knoxville, knoxville tennessee, Lady Bruins, Lauren Thompson, Lawrenceburg Tennessee, Maryville Tennessee, Meredith Roman, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, OVC Digital Network, patricia Mack, RedHawks, SEMO, SEMO Redhawks, Southeast Missouri State, Taylor Mills, Tennessee Tech, Torie Vaught, Twitter