Comeback Rally at Jacksonville Falls Just Short for Women's Basketball
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A late second half rally by the Belmont women's basketball team (3-12, 2-2 A-Sun) fell just short on the road at Jacksonville (4-10, 2-1 A-Sun) on Wednesday evening. The Bruins bounced back from a 16-point deficit but fell, 57-50, to the Dolphins. With the loss, BU slips to 2-2 in Atlantic Sun action.
Belmont jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead in the first three minutes of action behind back-to-back jumpers by senior Haley Nelson (Scottsboro, Ala.) and junior Alyssa Visbeen (Franklin, Tenn.) before the Dolphins knotted the score at six less than 60 seconds later. The teams traded baskets and freshman Katie Carroll (Lilburn, Ga.) drilled the lone three pointer of the half before Jacksonville hustled to put together a 9-0 run to put major distance between them.
The Bruins point production ground to a near halt midway through the first stanza as the Dolphins worked their mid-range game to build up its first double digit lead, 20-9, by the 11:32 minute mark. BU remained frigid from the hardwood and was literally netting one field-goal every three minutes despite a strong showing on the defensive end. JU took advantage of the lull in Bruin scoring and built a 15-point lead, 29-14, by the 4:12 mark. A pair at the stripe by redshirt junior Katie Brooks (Maryville, Tenn.) and a tip-in by freshman Torie Vaught (Maryville, Tenn.) closed the gap to 13 in the final 45 seconds as JU was able to take a 33-20 lead into the locker room.
The Bruins came out of the break fired up and senior Tristan Daniel (Waynesboro, Tenn.) quickly drew the foul and netted the awarded pair at the charity stripe. BU played tough defensively, keeping the Dolphins from netting their first field-goal of the half until nearly five minutes in, and trimming the gap to six points, 37-31, with 14:57 left on the clock.
Jacksonville surged midway through the half and used the rally to rebuild a 10-point lead, 46-36, with 7:28 remaining in regulation. However, a triple by senior Cacy Burtnett (Cleveland, Tenn.) sparked the Bruins and soon the contest was narrowed to two possessions with 4:36 left on the clock after two more free throws by Brooks and Carroll's second three pointer of the contest. The Dolphins attempted to use the clock to their advantage but Belmont was not going down without a fight down to the wire.
Nelson found the bottom of the net to make it a five-point game, 51-46, with just over two minutes remaining before the teams began trading shots at the free-throw line to hold on for the final points of the matchup. However, time was not on BU's side as Jacksonville went on to net two at the line with only 12 seconds left, allowing them to hold on for the 57-50 win.
JU shot 29.9 percent from the floor, an icy 11.1 percent from three-point range and 84.2 percent from the free-throw line. The Dolphins held the advantage in rebounds, 43-39, blocks, 4-2, and steals, 16-4.
Jacksonville had three players reach double digits led by Jade Cargill, who finished with a double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds. Crystal Bell added 12 and Tracie Sneed added 10 points.
Belmont shot 35.4 percent from the hardwood, 85.7 percent from the charity stripe and 20 percent from behind the three-point arc. The Bruins held the advantage in assists, 10-9.
The Bruins were led in scoring by Brooks, who netted a career-high 12 points, including an 8-for-8 stint at the charity stripe. Carroll also reached double digits, adding a career-high 10 points. Visbeen pulled down a season-high 10 rebounds.
Belmont returns to the confines of the Curb Event Center for action on Saturday afternoon for part one of the Battle of the Boulevard against rival Lipscomb. Tip-off is slated for 2pm. The contest can be heard live via the internet on the Bruins Sports Network and seen live on ASun.TV. Live stats and a Twitter feed (@BelmontWBB) will also be available.