Series Sweep: Women's Basketball Wins Battle of the Boulevard

Series Sweep: Women's Basketball Wins Battle of the Boulevard

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont women's basketball team (9-14, 8-4 A-Sun) extended its win streak to three with a convincing 60-43 team effort victory over rival Lipscomb (5-18, 3-9 A-Sun) in part two of the annual Battle of the Boulevard matchup on Saturday night.  The win, which improves BU to 8-4 in Atlantic Sun play, marks the first time since the 2006-07 season the Bruins have sweep the series.

After the teams shook off their respective opening minute jitters, the Bruins were first to get on the board behind a triple near the top of the key by senior Tristan Daniel (Waynesboro, Tenn.) and forced three consecutive Lipscomb turnovers in near shot clock violations before they would score.  Back-to-back trips to the charity stripe by senior Haley Nelson (Scottsboro, Ala.) and redshirt junior Katie Brooks (Maryville, Tenn.) pushed the Bruins ahead 7-3 by the 15:24 mark but the Lady Bison were able to knot the score one minute later.  Freshman Katie Carroll (Lilburn, Ga.) did serious work in the paint, driving for a pair of layups to open up a 9-0 run for Belmont, putting them ahead 16-7 with 10:48 left in the half.  LU called a timeout but it would be another two minutes before they would snap their drought that ticked into its sixth minute.

As the clock ticked to under six minutes, Lipscomb sprang to life after a three pointer from the corner by sophomore Molly Ernst (Louisville, Ky.), dropping in eight points to make it a one-point game, 23-22.  A pair at the line by the Lady Bison gave them their first lead of the night, 24-23, but it was short lived as Daniel knocked down her second trey of the half.  The Bruins surged to maintain of their lead in the final two minutes and used jumpers from senior Cacy Burtnett (Cleveland, Tenn.) and Daniel to expand the advantage to five, 30-25. The teams traded trips to the charity stripe before Lipscomb attempted to hold for the final shot of the half.  However, freshman Adrienne Tarrence (Bowling Green, Ky.) drove under the basket for a toss-up in the final 19 seconds to give BU the 32-29 lead heading into the locker room.

After the break, both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net from the floor for nearly the first three minutes despite both recording successful trips to the free-throw line.  It would be junior Alyssa Visbeen (Franklin, Tenn.) netting a spin around jumper to stretch Belmont's lead to three, 36-33, with 17:10 on the clock.  The Lady Bison slipped into an icy spell that lasted over four minutes as BU put together a 13-3 run to go up, 46-36, six minutes later. 

The Lady Bison seemed to lose all its momentum midway through the half, allowing the Bruins to take advantage of yet another four minute icy spell.  Belmont pushed for a 9-0 run, this time blowing their lead up to 17, 55-38, with seven minutes left in regulation.  LU had no answers for Nelson who returned after an injury early in the first half as she intensified Belmont's defensive efforts down the stretch.  With three minutes remaining in the contest, the Bruins found themselves in the double bonus but instead of depending on free-throws, the team again turned to a complete team effort on both sides of the ball to seal the victory.  Thirty seconds later, Visbeen drilled what would become the final basket of the night as the Bruins played keep away en route to the 60-43 win.

Lipscomb shot 20.8 percent from the floor, 27.3 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the free-throw line.  The Lady Bison held the advantage in rebounds, 41-34, and assists, 6-4.

LU was led in scoring by Anna Bowers and Morgan Faulker who each netted 12 points.  Haley Nelson also reached double digits with 10 points.  O'Neisha Smith led with a game-high 10 rebounds.

Belmont shot 47.8 percent from the hardwood, 41.7 percent from behind the three-point arc and 61.1 percent from the charity stripe.  The Bruins held the advantage in blocks, 8-1.  The teams finished with five steals each.

Daniel led the Bruins with 12 points while Brooks and Carroll added 10 points apiece.  Nelson contributed seven points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and a game-high five blocks.

Belmont returns to action on February 9 on the road at Stetson.  Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m. CT and the contest can be seen 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.