Indiana women get past Belmont in WNIT, 48-47
The Indiana women's basketball team won its first postseason game since 2009 with a 48-47 victory over Belmont in Assembly Hall on Thursday night. Three Hoosiers scored in double figures as Larryn Brooks and Lyndsay Leikem each had 11 points and Simone Deloach added 10 points.
Indiana (19-12) used an early 7-0 run to build an 11-4 lead in the game's first 5:47. The Hoosiers then extended that lead to 18-8 with a Leikem layup at the 7:51 mark.
Belmont (14-18) then strung together a 9-0 run to make it an 18-17 game as IU went scoreless for a stretch of 5:57. The Hoosiers would hold on to a 24-21 lead heading into the halftime break.
The Hoosiers came out of the locker room with a purpose as Tabitha Gerardot nailed a trey to ignite the Indiana offense. Deloach then followed with a layup before Belmont's Blair Bryce stopped the quick IU run with a field goal. Gerardot then hit another field goal before a Bruin free throw made it 31-24 with 17:17 to go.
Leikem nailed a 3-pointer and then drove and hit a layup to give IU a 12-point lead. Brooks capped Indiana's 14-3 run to begin the second half with a layup at the 13:37 mark to make it a 38-24 Hoosier advantage.
Belmont then began to claw its way back into the game, using a 14-4 run of its own to make it a 42-38 score with just over five minutes remaining. Leikem stopped the bleeding momentarily with a field goal to give IU a six-point cushion before a Bruin free throw cut it to 44-39.
Back-to-back field goals from Deloach gave IU a 48-39 lead with 2:51 to go, but that would be Indiana's final scoring play of the game.
Belmont's Katie Caroll nailed a 3-pointer to make it a 48-42 contest before Jordyn Luffman made it a 48-45 score with 1:46 to go with another trey. Indiana missed a shot and Luffman found Frankie Joubran for a jumper to make it a one-point IU lead, 48-47, with under a minute to play.
After a Deloach miss, Belmont missed a 3-point try from the corner and Alexis Gassion grabbed her 10th rebound of the game with nine seconds to play. Belmont had just a pair of team fouls and had to foul frantically to get Indiana into the bonus to extend the game.
Indiana's Nicole Bell missed her free throw attempt when Belmont finally hit seven team fouls with 5.6 seconds left and Luffman raced the other way in attempt to score. Gassion stripped the ball away just past midcourt to secure Indiana's first postseason win since 2009.
Both teams struggled offensively as Indiana shot 33.3 percent and Belmont shot 34.6 percent from the field. The Hoosiers won the rebounding battle 43-28.
Indiana just had seven turnovers in the game, marking the ninth time this year the Hoosiers have had less than 10 miscues in a game.
The Hoosiers will take on Marquette in the second round of the WNIT on Saturday, March 22 in Assembly Hall. That game will tip at 7 p.m. ET.