In a game of streaks and runs, the Lady Bruins staved off Lipscomb, 56-52, behind 18 points from junior forward Haley Nelson in Belmont’s second straight Battle of the Boulevard women’s victory.
Senior guard Shaunda Strayhorn, who’s play was limited by an ankle injury, scored her first and only points of the game when she calmly sank two free throws with 33 seconds left to put Belmont up 55-52. Lipscomb had several chances to tie, but failed to make a three-pointer in the waning seconds of the game.
“Shaunda showed a lot of courage coming back on that ankle, considering it’s multicolored and still swollen,” Belmont head coach Brittney Ezell said. “I was real pleased with the guts that she showed.”
Sophomore guard Kristin Nash filled in at the point guard position for Strayhorn and had seven points, five rebounds, and five assists.
“We tell Kristin every time to just be solid. You don’t have to be flashy to play a good game. You don’t have to score a lot of points to be a good leader,” Ezell said. “She stepped in when the team needed her.”
Neither team would budge in the first half and Belmont went into the locker room up by three, 28-25. But two three pointers by freshman guard Molly Ernst and another by Cacy Burtnett highlighted a 17-4 run to open the second half.
The Lady Bruins led 45-29, and then went cold. Lipscomb made a 16-5 run, which was punctuated by a Jenna Bartsokas three. The Lady Bisons came back within one, but Belmont was able to make free throws down the stretch.
“There’s lots of things we still need to work on, but we were fortunate to come out with the win against a very good David Lipscomb team,” Ezell said.
The Lady Bruins improve their record to 6-9 overall and 3-3 in the Atlantic Sun. Lipscomb fell to 7-9, 4-2.