Plenty of heart combined with even more sweat allowed the Bruins to come out on top tonight to earn a home victory against OVC opponent Morehead State 71-65.
With the well-earned win, the Bruins improved their OVC record to 4-4.
“We said we wanted to come out and throw the first punch,” said guard Taylor Mills. “I just wanted to bring some fire.”
Points on the night for Belmont were spread out amongst the team, with four players in double figures.
Katie Carroll led with 16 points, Mills 14, Jordyn Luffman 12 and Lauren Thompson 10.
Every Bruin gave their all as the team earned 21 bench points in the first half compared to the Eagles’ 5.
“Everyone came out with a lot of passion,” said Luffman. “We moved the ball as a team and found the open person, so I thought we did a really good job at sharing the ball and playing as a team tonight.”
The scoring started right away for Belmont with a steal from Adrienne Tarrence and a speedy transition pass to Carroll who nailed the layup.
Six initial fouls from the Eagles in the first five minutes gave the Bruins an opportunity to earn a few early points.
Fouls plagued the Eagles in the first half, allowing the Bruins to score 17 points from the charity stripe off of 14 fouls.
Belmont’s tough defense also allowed the offense to capitalize on 12 forced turnovers, scoring 18 points.
The Bruins felt confident going into the locker room leading comfortably 45-31.
Although Belmont opened the half with a basket from Katie Carroll, Morehead State then went on a 10-point run making the score 47-41 Bruins.
Taylor Mills ended the Bruins’ dry spell by sinking a solid 3-pointer improving their lead to 50-41.
After back-to-back Belmont fouls nearly halfway through the second half, the Eagles were able to lessen the scoring gap to five.
Once again, the Bruins answered with a 3-pointer by Carroll immediately after, improving their lead, 53-45.
The Eagles fought back with a hurried drive, ending in a marginal 53-50 Bruin lead, the closest score since early in the first half.
Morehead State eventually took the lead at 58-57 with six minutes to go in the game.
The game heated up as the score tied at 61-61.
By that point, both teams had earned 10 fouls apiece on the half, but the Bruins were able to score a quick free throw to give them the lead again.
Luffman provided the Bruins with a much needed 3-pointer after “Crunch Time” at the three minute mark, but the Eagles immediately answered with a 3-pointer of their own.
“We’ve been there before a lot this season so we knew they were going to pick up the pressure and we were prepared,” said Luffman.
Belmont battled to the end to earn the win with the final score at 71-65.
The team returns to action in Cookeville to face Tennessee Tech at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.