Women's Basketball Falls at Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. – After a hot start, brief pauses in offensive output slowed the Belmont women's basketball team (0-3) from recording its first win of the early season on Tuesday night. The Bruins fell on the road at Auburn (2-0), 80-53, concluding their three-game road trip to open the 2011-12 campaign.
The Bruins opened the second ever meeting between the programs with back-to-back three pointers from seniors Cacy Burtnett (Cleveland, Tenn.) and Tristan Daniel (Waynesboro, Tenn.) in the first 90 seconds. Auburn was able to catch up and briefly take the lead before sophomore Julianne Downs (Franklin, Tenn.) buried her first triple of the season, putting Belmont on top, 9-7, by the 15:31 mark. BU built a six-point lead, 18-12, three minutes later after shots by senior Haley Nelson (Scottsboro, Ala.), Downs, junior Alyssa Visbeen (Franklin, Tenn.), and freshman Amara Mayers (Harvest, Ala.).
Back-to-back treys by Camille Glymph knotted the game at 18 and sparked an 8-0 run for the Tigers. The Bruins saw a remnant of the icy rim from Memphis briefly reoccur as the team fell silent offensively for four minutes. Finally, Mayers battled through the paint for a lay-up at the 6:28 mark to get BU back in the game. The scoring drought saw Auburn go up, 26-18. Another three from Burtnett cut the lead to five but Auburn put together another quick run, this time five points to blow its lead up to 13, 36-23. A jumper in the paint by senior Haley Nelson (Scottsboro, Ala.) made it an 11-point game but Tyrese Tanner would drop in her fourth three of the half to send the teams to the locker rooms separated by 14 points, 39-25.
After the break, the Bruins connected on three of four shots at the charity stripe before sophomore Molly Ernst (Louisville, Ky.) knocked down her first trey of the game from the left side of the arc, moving BU to within 10, 41-31. After another Nelson jumper, Auburn put together an 8-0 run to pull away, 51-33, with just over five minutes into the half. A jumper by Visbeen closed the gap to 15 points, 51-36, but that would be as narrow as the scoring margin would become.
BU slipped into another scoring drought, this one lasting three and a half minutes before another Visbeen bucket at the 10:28 mark got Belmont back on the board. Three minutes later, freshman Adrienne Tarrence (Bowling Green, Ky.) completed BU's first three-point play of the season with 7:28 left on the clock, trimming Auburn's lead to 22, 68-46. Ninety seconds later, Ernst drained a triple for BU's last field-goal of the half, making it a 20-point differential between the teams, 72-52. One of two at the line by Visbeen with 1:10 remaining in regulation would be Belmont's final points of the contest as Auburn went on to take the game, 80-53.
"First of all, we are going to take the experience. Some of these kids would have never gotten the opportunity to play in this beautiful facility," said Head Coach Brittney Ezell. "For me to look down the sideline and see Nell Fortner who is a hall of famer is really kind of humbling. But games like this aren't going to hurt us in our conference, they are only going to help us in the long run. What we hope to do is win our conference and help Auburn with our RPI. We enjoy playing games like this. We don't see talent like this day in and day out. We are grateful for the opportunity to play in great environments like this and play great teams in the SEC."
Belmont shot 39.6 percent from the floor, 50 percent from the charity stripe and 42.1 percent from behind the three-point arc.
Nelson collected her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Burtnett added nine points in the effort and Visbeen contributed eight points. Tarrence notched a career and team-high eight assists.
Auburn shot 47.5 percent from the floor, 80 percent from the free-throw line and 47.6 percent from three-point range. The Tigers held the advantage in rebounds, 35-32, assists, 20-12, blocks, 7-1, and steals, 15-6.
AU was led in scoring by Glymph's 18 points. Tanner and Jassany Williams also reached double digits, adding 16 and 12 points, respectively.
Belmont returns to action on Friday night. The Bruins host Indiana in their home opener beginning at 6 p.m. in the Curb Event Center. Live stats, a live audio broadcast, and live video via ASun.TV will be available. A Twitter feed (@BelmontWBB) will also be available.