NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Belmont University women's basketball team (17-5, 9-0) returns to game action Wednesday evening when it hosts Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (9-13, 5-4) for an Ohio Valley Conference showdown at the Curb Event Center. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m. Central time and the broadcast will be carried live on the OVC Digital Network and Bruins Sports Network.
OVC Tournament Promotion Student Special: All students to attend three of the final four Belmont women's basketball home games and check in with Belmont Bruins Rewards App. will be eligible to win free All-Session Passes for the 2017 Ohio Valley Conference Basketball Championship. Eight students will be selected at random from the pool of entries. An all-session ticket includes admission to all eight sessions of the OVC Championship, which includes seven men's games and seven women's games (seating for women's games is all general admission).
"We've got our hands full with a very good SIUE team on Wednesday that has won four in a row. They are a tough team that makes you work for everything and are top ten in the country in free throws attempted per game with, I believe, the leading free throw shooter in the country in Gwen Adams. Coach Buscher has created a consistent contender at SIUE, year in year out they are a tough team. As always, we are excited to be playing at home in front of our great fans and I look forward to watching our young ladies compete," said Belmont Head Coach Cameron Newbauer.
Last time out the Bruins earned a hardfought victory over Tennessee State, 70-60, this past Saturday at the Gentry Center. The Bruins led by 15 at the intermission thanks to strong second quarter in which is outscored the Lady Tigers, 17-9. Darby Maggard (Larwill, Ind.) scored 11 points in the second stanza alone and finished the game with a team-high 14 along with a game-high nine assists. A total of four Bruins ended the game in double figures including senior Lauren Thompson (Franklin, Tenn.) who scored 13 points and hauled in nine rebounds. BU assisted on 21 of its 24 made field goals and shot 47% from the field.
The Bruins have won 11-straight games and are 9-0 in OVC play for the first time since joining the conference. Belmont's winning streak is tied for the seventh-longest active streak in Division I this season. Belmont has won seven-straight home games and 20 of its past 21. Its lone loss this season at home came in November vs. nationally ranked Green Bay.
SIUE enters the contest 9-13 overall and the Cougars are tied for third place in the OVC with a 5-4 record in conference play. SIUE boasts the league's second longest active winning streak at four games, trailing just the Bruins' 11-consecutive victories. The Cougars, selected to finish fourth in the preseason poll, feature three players who average double figures paced by junior Donshel Beck's 13.8 points per game. Beck also serves as the team's leading rebounder, grabbing 7.3 per contest which along with her points per game average ranks her within the league's top 10. SIUE is just 2-10 in true road games but at home sports a 6-2 record. The Cougars lead the conference in free throw percentage (.733) and rank top five in three-point field goal percentage, rebounding margin and offensive rebounding.
Belmont holds a 4-2 edge in six all time meetings with SIUE. The last meeting occurred on March 4, 2016 in the OVC Tournament Semifinal. The Bruins defeated the Cougars 92-68 behind a double double from Maggard (18 points, 10 assists). Belmont shot over 50% from the floor and knocked down 11 three-pointers, including a blistering 8-of-10 performance from beyond the arc in the first half.
Belmont and SIU Edwardsville are the two most recent entries to the Ohio Valley Conference. Belmont joined in 2012, while SIU Edwardsville joined in 2008.
Come on down to Game Show night at the Curb Event Center Wednesday night as several of your favorite game shows will be played throughout the game and you'll will have a chance to win some of your favorite board games.
After squaring off with SIUE, the Bruins hit the road for a matchup with the Murray State Racers on Saturday, Feb. 4. Tip is set from 6 p.m. from the CFSB Center.
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