- Associated Press - Saturday, March 4, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Kylee Smith scored a career-high 30 points and Belmont advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row by routing Eastern Kentucky 94-64 in the Ohio Valley championship game on Saturday.

Smith had 22 points and Darby Maggard 12 of her 22 in the second half as the Bruins (27-5) won their 21st straight, the second longest Division I women’s streak in the country, and 25th straight over OVC opponents.

Sally McCabe had 11 points, 11 rebounds and four steals for top-seeded Belmont and Lauren Thompson had 10 points and matched Smith with seven boards.

Mariah Massengill and Shavontae Naylor had 16 points apiece for the seventh-seeded Colonels (12-20) and Jalen O’Bannon had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Smith hit a 3-pointer and Thompson and McCabe followed with baskets after Naylor had opened the scoring and the Bruins never trailed again.

Belmont led 38-28 at the half and outscored Eastern Kentucky by 10 in the third and fourth quarters.


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