Dec. 4, 2012
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana Women's Basketball team closed out its five game homestand by taking a tough 58-54 loss to Belmont on Tuesday night in Assembly Hall. Senior Aulani Sinclair led the Hoosiers with 19 points as freshman Nicole Bell scored 11 points in the effort.
Sinclair scored IU's first seven points of the game to give Indiana an early 7-3 advantage.
Indiana (6-3) and Belmont (4-5) then went back-and-forth the entire first half, with three lead changes and four score ties. The Bruins had the last laugh of the opening stanza as Molly Ernst nailed a jumper for Belmont with just six seconds to play, giving Belmont a 30-25 advantage at the break.
Sinclair had 17 first half points, but the rest of the team was only able to connect on two field goals.
Coming out of the break, Sinclair hit a jumper, moving the Hoosiers to within three points. Belmont's Katie Carroll then knocked down a three to give the Bruins a 33-27 lead.
Later, after trailing by as much as 12 in the second half, IU's Bell nailed a huge 3-point field goal to bring the Hoosiers within three points, 52-49. Bell's shot brought life back into Assembly Hall with 6:54 remaining in the game.
Belmont's Jordan Coleman hit a layup to move the Bruin lead back up to five. Bell's scoring in the second half continued as she made another 3-pointer with under three minutes to play to make a 54-52 ballgame.
Coleman added two more points to her total on the ensuing Belmont possession with a jumper to push the Bruin lead back to four, 56-52, with 2:22 to play. Senior Jasmine McGhee, who finished with eight points, brought IU back within two with a field goal, but that would be the final bucket of the night for the Hoosiers.
With 49.1 left on the game clock, Belmont threw up a shot that missed and managed to get the rebound before Indiana stole the ball away. Sinclair had an opportunity to tie the game for Indiana, but her shot attempt fell short and IU was forced to foul with 2.6 seconds left in the game. Coleman then made two free throws to put the game away for the Bruins.
"We're disappointed tonight, certainly with a loss," head coach Curt Miller said. "But you have to give Belmont credit for fighting and making plays and making shots when they needed it down the stretch when our kids fought their way back into the game."
IU struggled from the field all night shooting just 33.3 percent with only three assists.
"We fought, that is what we are trying to instill in this team, to fight and be gutty," Miller added. "But if you can't make shots, every single defensive possession is so important. We're battling and that is culture we are trying to create."
Sinclair scored in double figures for the eighth time in nine games. Bell shot 4-for-6 from the field and went a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range. She has now tallied double-figures twice this season.
Indiana takes on in-state rival Butler this Sunday, Dec. 9, in Indianapolis. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. ET.
Senior Aulani Sinclair led all scorers with 19 points to tally double-figures for the eighth time this season and the 40th time in her career. She also had four rebounds, an assist and a steal. Sinclair has led IU in scoring in seven games this season.
Freshman Nicole Bell finished with 11 points, scoring all of her points in the second half. Bell shot 4-for-6 from the floor and went a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Bell has scored 10 or more points twice this season.
Senior Jasmine McGhee had a season-high three steals and tied a career mark with two blocks to go along with eight points and six rebounds.
Junior Simone Deloach tallied seven points off the bench grabbed a season-best five rebounds with a blocked shot.
As a team, Indiana shot 40.0 percent (6-for-15) from beyond the arc. The Hoosiers have shot 40.0 percent or better from 3-point range in five games this season.
Indiana had nine steals in the game, IU has had nine or more steals in four games this season.