WBB returns home, routs rival Lipscomb by 20 points

The women’s basketball team returned home for the first time in more than two weeks and defeated rival Lipscomb 80-60 at the Curb Event Center Tuesday afternoon.

The Bruins clinched their fifth consecutive win over the Lady Bisons in the Battle of the Boulevard series.

Sophomore Frankie Joubran went 7-for-7 from the field to record a career-high 18 points and also notched 13 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season.

“She’s a double-double machine. The thing I think was creative about Frankie tonight was her defense,” said Belmont coach Cameron Newbauer. “She did really good job proving she can guard guards tonight. She stayed with ball handlers tonight and kept her feet in front the best she could.”

While the Lady Bisons jumped out to an early 6-5 lead, the Bruins scored nine unanswered points to take their first lead of the game 14-6. Belmont’s defense held Lipscomb scoreless for almost a 3-minute span until Ashley Southern hit a layup with 14:34 remaining in the first half.

Minutes later, the Lady Bisons pulled within six points. But freshman guard Sierra Jones took control of the offense and rattled off six straight points for the Bruins.

With less than seven minutes until halftime, back-to-back threes from Katie Carroll and Jordyn Luffman-Hartsfield extended the lead for Belmont, 33-24.

After she made a huge block on the defensive end, Blair Bryce sealed the drive with a layup to give Belmont a 39-31 lead.

However, the Lady Bisons battled back to make it a four-point game at the end of the first half on a layup from Southern at the buzzer.

The Bruins shot 48 percent from the field in the first half while the Lady Bisons nearly matched the total with 46.7 percent shooting.

Both teams settled into a rhythm early in the second half as they exchanged baskets back and forth. But the Bruins scored seven unanswered points capped off by a 3-point play from Joubran to take a 52-41 lead.

“Defensively, we took away what they wanted, which was to shoot. So we really made them uncomfortable,” said Joubran. “We haven’t pushed the ball a lot. But we pushed it in transition and got some fouls on the basket. I think that definitely was a game changer.”

Southern converted three consecutive layups to bring Lipscomb within eight points, 61-53 with eight minutes remaining.

But another 7-0 run for the Bruins extended their lead 67-53 as their defense held the Lady Bisons scoreless for nearly four minutes.

Belmont allowed Lipscomb to score only seven points in the final four minutes of the game to preserve the 80-60 victory. Southern finished the game with 26 points for the Lady Bisons.

Luffman-Hartsfield and Jones rounded out the double-digit scorers for Belmont with 13 points and 11 points respectively.

Overall, Belmont shot 51 percent from the field including eight 3-pointers on the afternoon. The Bruins also outrebounded the Lady Bisons 50-27 after recording 60 rebounds in their last game against Denver.

“I think this is the highest field goal percentage we’ve had all year, so that’s another reason we didn’t have more offensive rebounds. I’ll take that any day of the week if we can take more shots,” Newbauer said.

Belmont takes a break for finals week but will return to action on Dec. 11 against the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

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