Women's Basketball Defeats Campbell
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – With the help of a strong defense and a balanced scoring attack, the Belmont women's basketball team (8-17, 5-11 A-Sun) returned to its winning ways, picking up a win over Campbell (10-14, 9-6 A-Sun), 54-45, Saturday afternoon on the road. The win snaps an eight game skid that matched the longest in program history and moves the Bruins to 5-11 in Atlantic Sun action.
The contest opened slowly between the teams, with neither able to find an offensive rhythm in the early minutes to pull away by a large margin. The Camels went up by as many as five, 13-8, by the 9:54 mark before Belmont began making moves to take the lead. Junior Cacy Burtnett (Cleveland, Tenn.) drilled a three pointer and was followed by a jumper from senior Tereva Moore (Memphis, Tenn.) to knot the score two minutes later. The Bruins went on to take the lead for the first time in the half behind a shot from junior Haley Nelson (Scottsboro, Ala.), who had been missing from the BU lineup for several games due to injury.
Belmont continued to take advantage of the Camels, who suddenly went ice cold from the floor. By the time the clock fell to under five minutes, the Bruins had built a 10-0 run to go up by five, 18-13. Tonisha Baker put together her own scoring streak but BU was able to regain control in the final three minutes before the break. Freshman Molly Ernst (Louisville, Ky.) and senior Rachel Swisher (Franklin, Ky.) knocked down back-to-back triples before redshirt freshman Julianne Downs (Franklin, Tenn.) found the bottom of the net with 1:50 remaining in the half to give Belmont a 26-18 advantage. It would be a three pointer from sophomore Kristin Nash (Stone Mountain, Ga.) that would give Belmont it's largest lead of the half, nine, with just over one minute left on the clock. Campbell notched a pair of free throws but BU closed out the half with a jumper from Swisher to take a 31-22 lead into the locker room.
When the teams returned to the hardwood, the Bruins continued to pile on the points. Sophomore Alyssa Visbeen (Franklin, Tenn.) and Moore both found the bottom of the net to extend BU's advantage to 13, 35-22, by the 18:22. However, the Camels were able to fire back and regain ground with a 15-7 run to trim the Bruin lead to 42-37 with 9:46 remaining.
The Bruins stormed back and answered with its own run over the next five minutes, expanding its lead back to 13, their largest of the second half, with a 10-2 spurt. Moore capped the run at the 4:49 mark with a pair at the charity stripe to put the Bruins on top, 52-39. Belmont then began to use the clock to its advantage to hold onto its lead down the stretch. Campbell ended the game on a 6-2 spurt, going 2-for-5 from the floor with one turnover, but BU held on for the 54-45 win.
Campbell shot 33.3 percent from the floor, 20 percent from long range and 81.8 percent from the free-throw line. The Camels held the advantage in rebounds, 36-33.
CU was led in scoring by Jazmine Cooper, who netted 16 points. Tonisha Baker also reached double figures, adding 12 in the effort.
Belmont shot 40.4 percent from the hardwood, 31.6 percent from behind the three-point arc and 46.2 percent from the charity stripe. The Bruins held the advantage in assists, 16-11, and steals, 10-6. The teams were tied in blocks with four apiece.
Ten Bruins scored in the victory, led by Swisher's nine points. Moore and Ernst each contributed eight points. Visbeen finished with a career and team-high nine rebounds while senior Shaunda Strayhorn (Dyersburg, Tenn.) recorded game highs in steals and assists with four each.
Belmont returns to action on Saturday, February 19 at the Curb Event Center. The Bruins host USC Upstate beginning at 5 p.m. The contest can be seen live on ASun.TV and heard live via the internet on the Bruins Sports Network. Live stats and a Twitter feed (@BelmontWBB) will also be available. Saturday's contest will also mark Senior Day for Tereva Moore, Whitney Seals, Shaunda Strayhorn and Rachel Swisher.