NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont women's basketball team (10-16, 9-6 A-Sun) will have their eyes on a sweep this weekend at the Curb Event Center after helping Head Coach Brittney Ezell notch her 100th career win on Thursday. The Bruins host in-state rival ETSU (7-19, 6-9 A-un), who they defeated last month on the road, on Saturday in their home finale beginning at 5 p.m.
East Tennessee State snapped a three-game skid earlier this week with a 59-39 win over Lipscomb. The Lady Bucs have won two of their last five outings and now stand at 6-9 in the Atlantic Sun and 7-19 overall. ETSU has two players averaging in double digits - Destiny Mitchell and Natalie Pickwell. The pair is averaging 11.8 and 10.4 points per contest, respectively. Mitchell also leads the team in rebounds, grabbing 8.3 per outing.
Back on January 19, behind an incredible three-point performance by sophomore Molly Ernst (Louisville, Ky.), the Belmont women's basketball team handily defeated in-state rival ETSU, 88-75, on the road. Belmont shot a season-high 55.1 percent from the hardwood, 55 percent from behind the three-point arc and 65.7 percent from the charity stripe in the victory. Ernst was perfect from behind the three-point arc in the first half going 6-for-6 en route to scoring a game and career-high 27 points. Senior Haley Nelson (Scottsboro, Ala.) added 21 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to notch her ninth double-double of the season while freshman Katie Carroll (Lilburn, Ga.) netted a career-high 13 points. Redshirt junior Katie Brooks (Maryville, Tenn.) finished with nine points and a game-high six assists.
ETSU leads the all-time series, 12-6, but Belmont snapped a nine-game series skid with its win last month.
The last time out, The Belmont women's basketball team opened its home finale weekend in fine fashion on Thursday with a determined victory over visiting USC Upstate. The Bruins helped Head Coach Brittney Ezell notch her 100th career win with the 74-69 victory over the Spartans. Nelson netted a game-high 17 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Freshman Amara Mayers (Harvest, Ala.) scored a career-high 13 points and Carroll added 11 points in the effort. Brooks finished with a game-high six assists and senior Cacy Burtnett (Cleveland, Tenn.) had a game-high three steals.
Nelson leads BU in scoring, field-goal percentage, rebounding, blocks and steals. She is averaging 14.1 points while shooting at a 52.3 percent clip from the floor, pulling down 8.6 boards per outing as well as 2.2 stops and 1.9 swipes per game. Brooks leads the team in assists with a total of 82. Sophomores Molly Ernst (Louisville, Ky.) and Julianne Downs (Franklin, Tenn.) lead the Bruins in shooting at the charity stripe, knocking down 85.7 and 84.6 percent, respectively. Junior Alyssa Visbeen (Franklin, Tenn.) and Ernst top BU's three-point shooters, knocking down 33.3 and 31.8 percent from behind the arc, respectively.
Three Bruins continue to make their presence felt in NCAA Division I statistics this week (as of 2/16). Nelson continues to stand among the best statistically among all NCAA Division I players, making appearances in five categories. Her highest rankings are 13th in double doubles (12), 27th in field-goal percentage (.525) and 36th in blocked shots per game (2.2). She is also ranked 90th in rebounds per game (8.5), and 193rd in points per game (14.2). Brooks is ranked 178th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.16) and 204th in assists per game (3.4) while Ernst is ranked 137th in three-point field goals per game (1.9).
Saturday's contest is slated to begin at 5 p.m. Prior to tip-off, a presentation honoring seniors Cacy Burtnett, Tristan Daniel, Crystal Kesler, Haley Nelson and Shai Wilkins will be held. The matchup can be seen live on ASun.TV and heard live via the internet on the Bruins Sports Network. Live stats and a Twitter feed (@BelmontWBB) will also be available.
Fans are encouraged to show Bruin spirit by wearing blue as part of Homecoming 2012.