The Belmont women’s basketball team dropped their second straight game 61-53 to the Jaguars of IUPUI Tuesday night at the Curb Event Center.
The Bruins struggled to hold on to the ball throughout the game by committing 26 turnovers that led to 27 Jaguar points. The score remained close throughout the game until free throws allowed IUPUI to pull away in the final two minutes.
Against a scrappy IUPUI defense led by Katie Comello, the Bruins had 10 first half turnovers. After a first half that relied on the playmaking ability of senior guard Katie Carroll, coach Brittney Ezell chose to get the ball to the OVC Newcomer of the Week Jordan Coleman for the second half.
The Bruins came out of the locker room on a 7-0 run as Coleman made seven second half rebounds and scored nine points as Belmont cruised to a three point lead.
With less than ten minutes to go, Coleman was called for an offensive foul and dropped the ball on the opposing player in frustration. The official quickly called a technical foul on her, which put the freshman center on the bench for nearly the rest of the game.
“Jordan is an emotional and passionate kid, and she let the emotions get the best of her,” Ezell said.
While Belmont continued to force the ball in the post, they could not consistently score with Coleman on the bench.
“Jordan is such a leader for our group by example, and the kids really feed off of her energy,” Ezell said. “To have to sit her out made it very difficult for us.”
The Jaguars then began to defend with a full court press and slowly retook control of the game.
Without Coleman, who still have nine points and 11 rebounds on the night, the Bruins struggled but refused to quit. Led by guards Katie Carroll and Katie Brooks, Belmont forced the game into a tie with four minutes left.
However, IUPUI’s defense continued to be too much for the Bruins. Comello went 8-for-8 from the free throw line, and the Jaguars held on to gain their fourth win of the season.
The Bruins will travel to Allen Arena to take on rival Lipscomb this Saturday. With the loss, the Bruins’ record fell to 2-5
For Ezell, it is important for her team to continue to work on their individual play as they move forward.
“Our philosophy is that it is not who you play, but how you play, and we have to get better,” she said.