Jan. 12, 2008
In a defensive struggle the Belmont Lady Bruins beat the Lipscomb Lady Bisons 47-43 Saturday night at Allen Arena in a key Atlantic Sun game.
The game was part two of the doubleheader at Lipscomb's Allen Arena between the two rivals known as the "Battle of the Boulevard".
The Lady Bisons led by seven points in the first half, a 16-9 advantage with 9:18 left to play. Belmont went on a 12-1 run to take over the lead. Belmont held a 21-20 advantage at the half.
"Both teams played pretty good defense," said Lipscomb coach Frank Bennett. "Both teams got in foul trouble in the first half. They had to sit Brooke Sunday and we had to sit Katie Rollins really early. That affected both teams a little bit.
"We missed some power shots and lay-ups that would have helped us get a bigger lead when we were playing well early."
Belmont's Lady Bruins never trailed in the second half. They led by 10 points, 32-22, on a lay-up by Sunday.
Belmont's largest lead was 11, 39-28, with 8:27 left to play. The Lady Bisons scored 11 unanswered points to tie the game at 39-39 with 5:12 remaining, sparked by two 3-pointers from freshman point guard Miaca Bowman and another from junior wing Jilian Partin.
Belmont regained the lead, but the Lady Bisons refused to go away, pulling to within one points, 44-43 with six seconds left on a free throw from Catie Woods.
"It was pretty even at halftime, but I didn't think we had the offensive tempo that we wanted in the second half," Bennett said. "We attacked a little bit later in the half and made a comeback.
"I was real proud of our team. We could have tanked a few times when we couldn't score and we were down 10 or 11 points."
Sunday scored a game-high 13 points. Jessica Bobbitt added 11 points and also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Belmont finished with a 30.6 percent average from the field, hitting 15-of-49 shots.
"Jilian has played consistently well," Bennett said. "She gives a great effort. She has improved as a 3-point shooter. We count on Jilian to go to the boards. When you get a player at the No. 3 position getting 10 rebounds that is a great effort."
The Lady Bisons shot 24.1 percent from the field, connecting on 13-of-54 shots.
"We didn't shoot the ball very well against Belmont like we did at Campbell and Gardner-Webb where we shot much better from the outside, but in our three conference games we have played much better," Bennett said. "Our defense has shown a big improvement in both this game and at Campbell."
The Lady Bisons are 3-13, 1-2 in the conference. Belmont is 8-8, 2-1 in the A-Sun.