NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Paced by Sally McCabe's (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) first double double of the season, the Belmont University women's basketball team (12-5, 4-0) won its six-straight game as it defeated Southeast Missouri (7-10, 1-3), 89-77 Saturday evening at the Curb Event Center.
McCabe finished with a season-high 19 points and tied a season-high with 13 rebounds. The junior also tied a career high with seven blocks as she put together one of the best games of her career.
The Bruins held on for the win it was a highly-competitive matchup at the Curb Event Center, the game saw 10 ties and five lead changes.
"We knew it was going to be a toughness game. Coach Patterson and her team play so hard, they sprint the floor for 40 minutes. They rebound like crazy. We knew it was going to be a game we had to scap and play tough for 40 minutes because we knew they weren't going to go away," said Head Coach Cameron Newbauer after the game.
Belmont trailed 17-16 after the first quarter was in the books, facing its first deficit after the first quarter since Dec. 14 at Minnesota. The Redhawks finished the frame on a 5-1 run after the Bruins held the lead at the first media timeout. Roy scored six early points in the quarter.
"I had a lot of fun out there today, that's what I'm really trying to play for, to have fun. All the credit goes to my teammates for getting me the ball today," said McCabe.
Belmont came out reenergized to open the second quarter, opening the period on a 7-2 run to grab a 23-19 lead, which forced the Redhawks to burn a timeout to quell the run. The Bruins outscored SEMO, 27-23 in the second shooting a blistering 10-of-15 (66.7%) from the floor. Smith poured in 11 points in the frame and led Belmont with 14 at the break. Smith was one of three Bruins to reach double figures by the end of the first half joining Roy (11) and McCabe (10). McCabe was a force defensively in the game's first 20 minutes, recording three blocks and hauling in six rebounds. Belmont finished the first half shooting 16-of-32 (50%) from the field which included five three-pointers. The first half featured three lead changes and six ties with Belmont leading for over 13 minutes. Belmont held a 43-40 edge at the intermission.
It was a back-and-forth third period, with the advantage alternating back and forth. SEMO took a 54-52 lead with five minutes to play in the third, its first lead since there were 18 seconds left in the first quarter. The Bruins regained the lead at the 2:40 mark when Sierra Jones (Huntsville, Ala.) converted on a tough baseline lay in to make it 57-56 Belmont. The Bruins wouldn't allow the Redhawks to regain the advantage from this point forward in the quarter and closed the frame on a 5-0 run, carrying a 64-59 lead heading into the fourth.
After a tight third quarter, Belmont outscored the Redhawks 25-18 in the final frame. Maggard helped stabilize the Bruins down the stretch, scoring seven points in the stanza, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
Olivia Hackmann led SEMO with 25 points and Hannah Noe and Bri Mitchell also finished in double figures.
In a game that featured the league's top two rebounding squads, Belmont held a 43-41 edge on the boards.
The Bruins finished the game shooting 28-of-63 (44.4%) from the field and assisted on 15 of those field goals.
There were 50 fouls in the game and Belmont shot 26-of-35 (74.3%) from the free throw line.
The Bruins improve to 18-1 over their last 19 home games and over its last 20 OVC games including last season's conference tournament, Belmont is 19-1.
Belmont resumes conference play Wednesday, Jan. 11 when it hosts Eastern Kentucky and wraps up its three-game homestand.