Free Throws Boost Belmont Past Morehead State
The Belmont women's basketball team connected on 96 percent of its free-throw attempts and held on for a 70-67 Ohio Valley Conference victory over Morehead State on Monday night (Feb. 3) at MSU’s Johnson Arena.
The Bruins improve to 10-14 overall, 7-4 in conference action and 4-9 on the road. The Eagles slip to 10-13 overall, 4-6 in league play and 4-8 at home. Belmont also moves to 6-2 in the all-time series with its fifth straight win over MSU.
Belmont connected on 22-of-23 shots from the foul line, while Morehead State made just 4-of-5. The 18-point difference made up for the Eagles knocking down eight more field goals, including seven more in the second half.
"We talked about not letting them hit threes, and we couldn't allow them to live at the free throw line," Head Coach Tom Hodges said. "We did everything we needed to do to win except those two things."
Junior guard Jordyn Luffman paced BU with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-9 from the charity stripe. Junior Taylor Mills added 13 points, while junior guard Katie Carroll and freshman forward Lauren Thompson collected 10 apiece.
Junior forward Mackenzie Arledge posted a career-best 17 points for Morehead State on 8-of-11 from the field. It marked her second straight double-figure effort. Junior guard Almesha Jones notched her second career double-double with 15 points and a career-best 12 assists. Jones, who leads the OVC in assists per game, has dished out 53 helpers (7.5/game) in the last seven.
Freshman forward Aaliyah Wells came off the bench to score a career-best 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
"We might have found something with Aaliyah, and Mackenzie played another great game," Hodges added. "Mac played 38 minutes and that is a lot for her."
The contest featured 12 lead changes and eight ties. Belmont connected on 22-of-23 shots from the foul line, while Morehead State made just 4-of-5. The 18-point difference made up for the Eagles knocking down eight more field goals, including seven more in the second half.
Morehead State hit 49 percent (28-of-57) from the field, including 53 percent (17-of-32) in the second half. The visitors nailed 46 percent (10-of-22) in each half.
The Eagles will travel to Eastern Kentucky on Saturday (Feb. 8) for a 2 p.m. contest.