The Belmont women’s basketball team pulled off a nail-biting, 63-53 victory against Jacksonville State in the OVC Championship semifinals Friday afternoon, advancing to the championship round for the third year in a row.
Jacksonville came out strong at the start of the game, capitalizing on several turnovers and failed three-point attempts from the Bruins.
The Bruins struggled to find their footing during the first half, earning a 38.5 field goal percentage in the first quarter and an even shakier 26.7 percent in the second.
The Gamecocks, rallying behind a faltering Bruins team, closed the half with a tying, 15-15 buzzer-beater.
Ten minutes later, junior forward Jenny Roy responded with another tying buzzer-beater to end the third, 25-25.
It wasn’t until midway through the fourth quarter when Belmont rallied behind four completed jumpers to take a comfortable 10-point lead. The lead would carry them to the end of the game, and the team’s 45th straight OVC victory.
Despite the team’s slow start, Friday’s Jacksonville matchup featured many strong performances from the No. 22 Belmont team.
Senior center Sally McCabe earned yet another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard Darby Maggard tallied an impressive 20 points and senior forward Kylee Smith grabbed 19 points and eight rebounds.
The Bruins will return to the Ford Center for the championship round Saturday at 2 p.m. and will play the winner of the SIUE, UT Martin game on Friday afternoon.
This article written by Zach Gilchriest. Photos by Carina Eudy and Zach Gilchriest.