Belles win conference

Basketball takes title for the first time in 11 seasons

By Sam Fowler
On March 10, 2016

 

 

   Belle basketball defeated West Texas A&M 68-65 in double overtime on March 5 to earn their first conference tournament championship since 2005.
The third meeting between WTAMU and ASU played out with a close win by the Belles, just like the Jan. 13 meeting at ASU with an overtime wins. “[West Texas] is such a quality class program,” Head Coach Kevin Baker said. “They fought till the bitter end every time we played.”This game saw 11 lead changes between the Belles and Lady Buffs before the Belles took the twelfth and final lead change.
   In the first half, neither team could establish their dominance with the biggest lead being eight points in favor of the Belles.
At the half, the Belles went into the locker room and later tied with Lady Buffs at 30 points.The second half saw the Lady Buffs change the momentum with a 10 point lead in the third quarter before the Belles closed it to a one point lead at the end of the period.“We told them we’ve been here before,” Baker said. “We did what we did all year and battled.”
   In the fourth quarter, the two teams exchanged one point leads before the Lady Buffs tied the score with a minute and 47 seconds left in regulation.
With the first overtime period, the Lady Buffs pulled ahead by four points early on.The Belles were able to narrow it down to two points before junior guard Lexi Murphy tied the game with a layup in the final minute of overtime.
   The second overtime saw the Belles carry over their performance in the first overtime as they jumped out to a narrow three point lead.Unlike the Lady Buffs the Belles were able to regain their lead despite tied scores with 3:40, 2:48 and 1:43 left in the game.After missing her first free-throw, junior post and Lonestar    Conference Player of the Year, Jasmine Prophet knocked down three consecutive free throws to give the Belles a three point lead.The Lady Buffs had a chance to tie it with a three-pointer as time expired, but Lexi Murphy hauled in the rebound from the shot to seal the game for the Belles.“I can’t even put it in to words,” Baker said when asked what this means to him in the press conference afterwards. With the win, the Belles earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA South-Central regional tournament.
   They will play the No. 5 seed Colorado School of Mines in Lubbock on March 10 at 8:30 p.m.

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