Women’s Basketball Returns to the Road for A-Sun Action This Week
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont women's basketball team (5-13, 4-3 A-Sun) will look to carry its winning momentum into its Atlantic Sun matchups on the road this week. The Bruins take on in-state rival ETSU (4-13, 3-4 A-Sun) on Thursday night and face off against USC Upstate (3-15, 2-5 A-Sun) on Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Bucs enter into this week's contest hoping to snap a two-game skid and improve in Atlantic Sun standings. East Tennessee State has a league record of 3-4 and an overall record of 4-13. ETSU is led in scoring by Natalie Pickwell, who is averaging 10.1 points per game. Destiny Mitchell leads the team in rebounds, grabbing 6.9 per contest.
The Lady Bucs lead the all-time series 12-5 and have won the last nine matchups between the programs. Belmont's last win over ETSU came in the 2006-07 campaign.
The Spartans have lost nine of their last 11 outings despite splitting A-Sun action over the weekend. USC Upstate stands at 3-15 overall and 2-5 in league play. The team is lead in scoring by Tee'Ara Copney, who is averaging 15.3 points per game. Paulina Zaveckaite leads the team in rebounds, pulling down 7.1 per outing.
The all-time series is 4-4 between the programs with USC Upstate winning the last four matchups.
The Belmont women's basketball team handed Stetson its first Atlantic Sun loss of the season, defeating the Hatters, 65-58, to snap their 10-game win streak. Sophomore Molly Ernst (Louisville, Ky.) led the Bruins in scoring with 18 points, half of which were netted beyond the three-point arc. Senior Haley Nelson (Scottsboro, Ala.), who was presented a ball commemorating her 1,000th career point prior to tip-off, notched her eighth double-double of the season with 17 points and team-high 10 rebounds. Redshirt junior Katie Brooks (Maryville, Tenn.) added 12 points and a game-high five assists in the effort.
Belmont is led in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals by Nelson, who was named Player of the Week by both the Atlantic Sun and CollegeSportsMadness.com. She is averaging 14.5 points and 7.9 boards per outing as well as 1.6 stops and 2.1 swipes per game. Brooks leads the team in assists with a total of 58. Sophomore Julianne Downs (Franklin, Tenn.) and Ernst lead the team in shooting at the charity stripe, hitting 84.6 percent and 83.3 percent, respectively. Junior Alyssa Visbeen (Franklin, Tenn.) tops BU's three-point shooters, knocking down 37.2 percent from behind the arc.
Three Bruins continue to make their presence felt in NCAA Division I statistics this week (as of 1/15), led by Nelson, who appears in a whopping six categories. Her highest rankings are 15th in double doubles (8), 44th in field-goal percentage (.516) and 86th in blocked shots per game (1.7). She is also ranked 141st in rebounds per game (7.9), 186th in points per game (14.5), and 218th in steals per game (2.1). Brooks comes in at 229th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.04) and 231st in assists per game (3.2). Ernst is ranked 145th in three-point field goals per game (1.9).
Thursday's matchup at ETSU is slated to tip-off at 6 p.m. CT. The contest can be heard live via the internet on the Bruins Sports Network and seen live on ASun.TV. Live stats and a Twitter feed (@BelmontWBB) will also be available.