A late rally wasn’t enough for the Belmont women’s basketball team to beat the Tennesee Tech Golden Eagles 67-62 at the Curb Event Center Saturday night.
After three come-from-behind conference wins in January, the loss was one senior Jordan Coleman said the team isn’t used to.
“We’ve been doing this comeback kid stuff all conference play, and I hope it’s starting to sink in that we can’t always come back from behind,” said Coleman, who led the team with 21 points and 13 rebounds. “Not everyone is going to let us fight back into the game.”
While the Bruins cut a Golden Eagle lead from 12 to five in the last six minutes of the game, coach Brittany Ezell said her team needed a more consistent performance to have gotten the conference win.
“I thought the kids really showed some resiliency, but quite honestly, this was probably the worst game we’ve played all year,” she said.
Jordan Coleman recorded her sixth double-double of the season on the night, while senior Jordyn Luffman also recorded her first double-double for Belmont with a career-high 14 points and 13 rebounds.
“Those were two bright spots. It’s just because they play hard and compete on every position,” Ezell said. “We just didn’t play with a lot of fire, and that’s not like this team.”
In the opening minutes of the game, both teams scored, as a jumper from senior Alyssa Visbeen gave Belmont the early 5-4 lead.
The Golden Eagles then went on a 6-0 run to take a 11-5 lead and until Visbeen hit a jump shot after five minutes of scoreless Belmont play. After that basket, TTU put together another run to extend their lead to 20-7.
However, the Bruins then strung together a run of their own with strong support from the bench. Center Blair Bryce scored back-to-back layups on offensive rebounds, and freshman Natalie Cohlmeyer nailed a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 22-18.
“It was such a momentum changer,” Ezell said. “If had I not inserted them into the game, it could have been a 20 to 30 point game in the first half.”
In the final minutes of the half, Belmont would pull within four with a three pointer from Luffman. Tennessee Tech led 31-27 at the half.
Tech then opened the second half on a 15-4 run, extending their lead to 15 points, their biggest of the evening. But Belmont would surge back again behind Coleman, who scored 11 straight points for the Bruins including a layup off a steal with under 12 minutes to go.
Another Tech run put the game out of reach, but late points from Luffman, Coleman and Molly Ernst kept the game close at the end.
Overall, the Bruins shot 39 percent from the field and held the Golden Eagles to just 42 percent from the field. They shot 50 percent in four of their last six games.
Belmont returns to action Monday night when they host Morehead State at the Curb Event Center at 7 p.m. The team still leads in OVC Eastern Division with an 8-3 conference record.