Fairmont grad spurs NCAA tournament upset

Fairmont High School graduate Madison Bartley scored five crucial points in the final 65 seconds, as 12th-seeded Belmont upset No. 5 seed Gonzaga, 64-59, in the first round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament Monday.

Bartley, a 6-foot-3 freshman forward, scored nine points, making her Belmont’s second-leading scorer in the game, behind 25 from Bruins star Destinee Wells, also a freshman.

Bartley scored off a pass from Jamilyn Kinney with 1:03 to play to put Belmont ahead 59-55, but Gonzaga cut the margin back to two points with 45 seconds to play.

With the shot clock winding down, Wells drove the right side of the lane and dished to Bartley, who had to rip the 50-50 ball away from a Gonzaga defender before converting the layup. She was fouled on the play and made the free throw to give Belmont a 62-57 lead with 18 seconds left.

Credit: Sam Simpkins

Credit: Sam Simpkins

Belmont (21-5) advances to the second round to face fourth-seeded Indiana on Wednesday. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. EDT, and the game will be shown on ESPNU.

Bartley has been the Bruins’ top sub this year, averaging 7.5 points and 3.7 rebounds a game, while shooting 59 percent from the field.

At Fairmont last year, Bartley teamed with Maddy Westbeld to lead the Firebirds to a 25-3 record and the regional finals. Westbeld plays for Notre Dame and was recently named Atlantic Coast Conference freshman of the year by the ACC coaches.

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