Belmont�s ten-game winning streak and hopes of running the table in the Atlantic Sun came to a rest last week when superstar forward Alysha Clark sprained her ankle in practice.
Clark missed the team�s game on Friday at Mercer and the Bruins fell 69-65. BU had beaten Mercer by 23 earlier in the season. The loss was the first for Belmont (18-5, 12-1) in A-Sun play this season.
Belmont followed that setback with a convincing 72-56 win at Stetson on Saturday. Clark didn�t play in that game either, but it certainly wasn�t by choice. The former Mt. Juliet star, who has been named A-Sun Player of the Week five times this season, pleaded with coach Tony Cross and the Belmont coaching staff to let her play.
But the staff didn�t even pack Clark�s jersey for the game so as to rule out any such possibility.
�It was really frustrating to know I couldn�t help out in any way,� Clark said. �I just had to help my teammates and keep them in the game and not worry about me playing. Against Stetson, we did the little things that mattered. Everybody stepped up and showed it�s not a one-person show.�
The ankle injury won�t cost Clark any more action and she will return for Saturday�s Battle of the Boulevard against Lipscomb at the Curb Event Center.
She sprained the ankle last week in practice and wore a protective boot on her foot over the weekend.
Clark said she was pushing to return as soon as possible, but didn�t want to return too soon so as to jeopardize the season. Belmont�s ultimate goal is to win the A-Sun tournament, something the team has never done before.
�It�s always frustrating to lose and I think that�s a wake-up call to not take winning for granted, �Clark said. �I�ll take a loss now in exchange for winning the A-Sun tourney any day.�
Despite seeing routine double teams, Clark is averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds during her sophomore campaign. The Bruins have five regular season games remaining before they head to Dothan, Ala. for the A-Sun tournament March 8-10.