Women’s Basketball Opens 2012 Conference Slate in Florida
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont women's basketball team (2-11, 1-1 A-Sun) will look to use the lessons learned during its tough non-conference schedule to make a strong start in Atlantic Sun play. The Bruins open the 2012 portion of their slate on the road in the Sunshine State with contests at North Florida (4-8, 1-0 A-Sun) and Jacksonville (2-10, 0-1 A-Sun) early this week.
The Ospreys have won two of their last five contests and stand at 4-8 overall and 1-0 in A-Sun play with a win over Jacksonville last month. North Florida is led in scoring by Brittany Kirkland, who is averaging 13.2 points per game. Larkira Jones leads the team in rebounds, grabbing 6.8 boards per contest.
Belmont leads the all-time series, 7-4. The teams split their pair of matchups last season.
Jacksonville snapped a two-game skid with a narrow 68-67 win over South Carolina State after the Christmas holiday. The Dolphins stand at 2-10 overall and dropped their first conference matchup to North Florida last month, 51-36. JU is led in scoring by Crystal Bell, who is averaging 11.6 points per game. Tracie Sneed leads the team in rebounds, grabbing 6.6 per outing.
After building up a strong second half rally, the Belmont women's basketball team was unable to maintain the momentum in its final non-conference matchup of the regular season, falling to first-time opponent Texas State, 71-66. This outing marked the first time this season three Bruins reached double digits. Senior Haley Nelson (Scottsboro, Ala.) netted a team and game-high 19 points while sophomore Molly Ernst (Louisville, Ky.) added 17. Junior Alyssa Visbeen (Franklin, Tenn.) dropped in 10 points in the effort to round out the trio. Nelson was one rebound shy of a double-double with a game-high nine boards. Redshirt junior Katie Brooks (Maryville, Tenn.) pulled down eight rebounds and had a career and game-high eight assists.
Belmont is led in scoring by Nelson, who is netting 14.5 points per contest. She also leads the team in rebounds (7.1), blocks (23), and steals (28). Tarrence and redshirt junior Katie Brooks (Maryville, Tenn.) lead the team in assists with 31 apiece. Sophomore Julianne Downs (Franklin, Tenn.) continues to lead the at the charity stripe, knocking down 84.6 percent of her attempts.
Nelson continues to stand among the best statistically among all NCAA Division I players. Her highest rankings are 27th in double doubles (4.0), 71st in blocked shots per game (1.8) and 80th in field-goal percentage (49.7). She is also ranked 225th in points per game (14.1) and 273rd in rebounds per game (6.9).
Both contests can be heard live via the internet on the Bruins Sports Network and seen on ASun.TV. Live stats and a Twitter feed (@BelmontWBB) will also be available.