Belmont Vision – Auburn outshines women’s basketball in close game at Belmont court

After running out of time and points, Belmont’s women’s basketball fell to the Auburn Tigers 71-62 on Wednesday night.

Facing central SEC Auburn University at home in the Curb Event Center, the Bruins were ready to fight for the final game of the fall semester.

The team returned home for the Auburn game after a tough December 5 away loss to No.6 University Louisville, and they signed up in the Curb ready to attempt to bounce back against the Power Five School in Alabama.

Belmont opened Wednesday’s game with a roar as sophomore Madison Bartley knocked down a 3-pointer in the game’s opener.

But coming back one point at a time, the Tigers made three straight free throws to match Belmont’s lead.

Back-and-forth points followed for the next 10 minutes, with Belmont rookie Tessa Miller producing eight layup points to end the quarter at 13 points.

Miller’s exceptional performance on Wednesday earned him the first college double-double of his career, racking up 12 points and 10 rebounds in the game.

“Tessa is an incredibly competitive kid and she carried us there early in the first half as we were fighting offensively,” said Belmont head coach Bart Brooks.

The Bruins struggled to keep up with the Tigers Rapids in the second quarter. The opponent scored 12 points over the Bruins’ two in 5 minutes.

Sophomore Blair Schoenwald arrived with a 3-point jumper late in the period, but Auburn edged out the Bruins, setting a buzzer at halftime to lead 31-24.

But halftime seemed to breathe new life into the Bruins’ game.

Sophomore Tuti Jones took the first two points of the third quarter before pulling off a steal, resulting in another Bartley layup.

After a shot clock violation by Auburn and missed shots from both sides 25 minutes into the game, Miller’s layup attempt hit the rim and rebounded in Belmont’s possession so senior Conley Chinn could sink a 2 points.

At 42-34 in favor of the Tigers, Belmont senior Jamilyn Kinney pushed the ball through the opposing defense and secured valuable points for the home side.

With a slim one-point difference in the fourth quarter, Belmont was able to take the lead, but lost momentum as the Tigers stepped up.

Following a missed jumper, Bartley fought to save the ball and bounced an assist to Chinn, who arrived quickly for a productive layup.

With 3:15 remaining on the clock, Jones sank a 3-point pointer as the small but mighty crowd echoed the “swoosh.”

Accumulating six of her 10 points for the night in the fourth quarter, the efforts of sophomore Destinee Wells failed to catch up with the Tigers’ tail.

The loss to Auburn means the Bruins will work to tighten up their game for their next game.

“We just had gaps, focus and execution that we had to clean up,” Brooks said. “I like our team. I think we could still be really good. We’re just not there yet.

Belmont’s women’s basketball will recharge before a Sunday game in the Curb, this time against Middle state rival Tennessee State University.

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PHOTO: First-year forward Tessa Miller on the pitch with Conley Chinn, Tuti Jones and Blair Schoenwald during Auburn’s game on Wednesday. Belmont Vision / Nikiah Perry.

This article was written by Jessica Mattsson.

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