MARTIN, Tenn. – With just 43 seconds left on the clock, junior guard Darby Maggard (Larwill, Ind.) drained the go-ahead jumper to give Belmont women's basketball its first lead of the game. The Bruins would go on to squeak out a 65-63 victory over the Skyhawks Saturday evening inside the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center.
While Maggard was responsible for clutch shooting down the stretch, senior center Sally McCabe (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) posted her second double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Sierra Jones (Huntsville, Tenn.) joined the duo with a double-digit performance of her own, scoring 10 points.
BRUINS LEAD! Maggard hits a pull up jumper with time expiring on the shot clock to give BU its first lead of the game!— Belmont WBasketball (@BelmontWBB) December 30, 2017
BU up, 64-63, With 22 seconds left in the game!
The Skyhawks (5-9, 1-1) were charged by 19 points from Emanye Robertson who went 3-for-4 from three-point range. Kendall Spray and Chelsey Perry each put up 14 points to help give UT Martin the edge for most of the game. Collectively, the team hit 11 threes while shooting 46 percent from the floor.
UT Martin got out to a hot start, draining five threes in the first quarter as Belmont had to play catch up most of the frame. The Skyhawks put up the first five points before McCabe got the Bruins (12-3, 2-0) rolling with just her second trey of the season. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn. scored BU's first five points and led the squad with nine in the opening quarter, but an 8-1 run by UTM toward the end secured a 22-15 advantage for the Skyhawks.
Back-to-back Bruin threes from Maggard and Wright brought the team within five, 21-26, to open the second stanza before UT Martin went on another scoring frenzy. BU failed to make a field goal for more than three minutes as UTM pushed their lead to as many as 12 with 4:32 remaining in the half. However, the tables would turn as the Skyhawks wouldn't find the bottom of the net for the remainder of the stanza while the Bruins mounted a 9-0 run. McCabe halted BU's scoring woes with a jumper inside the paint, followed by a pair of quick buckets from Maggard and Jones. Belmont cut its deficit to three, 32-35, heading into the break.
The Skyhawks returned to the court and quickly put up seven unanswered points to go up, 42-32, on the Bruins just three minutes into the third frame. Jones rolled one in and junior Jenny Roy (Brentwood, Tenn.) hit one from three-point range to bring BU back within five. Nearly every time Belmont came within striking distance, UT Martin found a way to once again separate itself. Three consecutive threes from the Belmont made it a one-point game before another timely Skyhawk trey put them ahead, 54-50, heading into the final stanza.
UTM continued to maintain the lead as they went on another 6-0 run to start the fourth and make it a 10-point game, 60-50, with 7:52 left. Maggard refused to let the Skyhawks run away with it as she drained one from afar to keep the Bruins in it as the halfway mark passed in the fourth. A three-minute scoring drought from UTM gave BU one more chance to get back in and the squad capitalized. A key moment in the fourth was when Ellie Harmeyer (Kenosha, Wisc.) swiped the ball from a Skyhawk, the steal led to a fastbreak from Jones to bring the Bruins with two, 63-61, with 2:03 remaining in the game. Maggard once again came up big with a jumper that gave Belmont its first lead of the entire game, 64-63. Roy sealed the deal with a made free throw that kept Belmont perfect in OVC play.
- Belmont moves to 24-0 against OVC opponents during the regular season dating back to the 2015-16 season.
- The Bruins are 31-3 in league play over the last three seasons.
- Sally McCabe registered her second double-double of the season and the 20th of her career. The senior has scored in double digits her last five games.
- BU drained 10 threes, its the eighth time this season that the team has hit at least 10 threes.
- Jenny Roy lead the team in assists for the third consecutive game, dishing out seven.
Belmont returns to the Curb Event Center for a pair of games starting Thursday, Jan. 4 when they host Tennessee Tech at 5 p.m. The Bruins then host Jacksonville State on Saturday, Jan. 6 for a 3 p.m. tip.