• Lillie Burke

Belmont, Cohlmeyer triumph on Senior Night, Bruins undefeated at home

It was a high-energy battle at the Curb Event Center for the homecoming and senior-night celebration.

The visiting Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles had itheir sights set on a rematch after the Belmont women’s basketball team took the last meeting 80-79 in a double-overtime thriller, while the Bruins looked to bounce back from snapping its 10-game win streak on the road at UT Martin on Monday.

Both teams needed a victory, but it was the Bruins who came out on top 70-49.

With the win, Belmont finishes undefeated at home for the 2015-16 season.

Although the Bruins were ahead by 18, the most exciting basket of the game came in the final 42 seconds.

Belmont’s only senior, Natalie Cohlmeyer, sank a 3-pointer in the final minute of the last home game of her career.

“That was just a perfect ending to a perfect four years here, it made my whole four years,” said Cohlmeyer.

After a low-scoring start for both teams, sophomore guard Kylee Smith drained a 3-pointer to give Belmont its first lead of the game deep into the first quarter at 9-8.

To conclude the first quarter, the score was tied up at 12 with the Bruins shooting 20 percent from the field.

Freshman forward Jenny Roy’s and-one basket put a little life into the Bruins to begin the second quarter.

However, the Golden Eagles climbed their way back and re-took the lead in the 6th minute of the second quarter with a jumper by senior guard Samaria Howard to make it 16-15. Howard also hit double-digit scoring with the basket, totaling 10 points. She finished with 18 total points.

Later in the half, a jumper from sophomore guard Sierra Jones put Belmont up five with less than a minute remaining in the half.

A technical foul called on Tennessee Tech gave the Bruins a chance to extend its lead going into the locker room. Freshman guard Darby Maggard hit one of her free throws to put the Bruins up 28-22 at the half.

Sally McCabe grabbed her 10th board of the game just a minute into the second half.

To start the fourth quarter, McCabe hit a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. She added another layup immediately after to give Belmont a 10-point lead at 48-38, forcing the Golden Eagles to call a timeout.

Smith went on an 8-point run by herself during the fourth quarter, putting the Bruins up 60-42.

She went three for four from behind the arc in the second half, finishing with a total of 21 points.

McCabe ended with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds.

“Ugly games aren’t fun but when we win ugly games it’s fun, and for most of that game we did not shoot the ball very well,” said head coach Cameron Newbauer. “That just kind of shows you the resilience of our team.”

Belmont is on the road Wednesday, Feb. 24 at Eastern Kentucky. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

#BelmontAthletics #Belmontbasketball #NatalieCohlmeyer #womensbasketball

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