No. 22 Belmont women top Jacksonville St 63-53 in OVC semis

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Darby Maggard scored 20 points, Kylee Smith added 19 and No. 22 Belmont tied the school record set last season with its 21st straight win on Friday, pulling away from Jacksonville State late for a 63-53 win in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament semifinals.

Sally McCabe had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the top-seeded Bruins (30-3), who have won 45 straight over OVC opponents going into Saturday’s championship game against second-seeded Tennessee-Martin.

Belmont, which averages 79 points a game, trailed by seven in the first quarter and shot 32 percent in the first half, which ended tied at 25. The Bruins took a 41-37 lead after three quarters on Jenny Roy’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Maggard’s 3-pointer with five minutes left upped Belmont’s lead to 51-41. Belmont was 7 of 11 from the field and made all six of its free throws in the fourth quarter.

Kiana Johnson and Tasha Magruder each had 10 points for the fourth-seeded Gamecocks (19-12), who shot 33 percent from the floor for the game.

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