NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A late run propels Belmont women's basketball past Eastern Illinois, 59-37, Thursday night inside the Curb Event Center. The victory marks the Bruins 34th consecutive win over an OVC foe and moves them to 9-0 in league play this season.
Junior guard Ellie Harmeyer (Kenosha, Wisc.) tallied her second double-double of the season, racking up 15 points and a career-best 11 rebounds. She was joined by Darby Maggard (Larwill, Ind.) and Sally McCabe (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) who rounded out the Bruins double-digit scoring efforts with 17 and 10 points, respectively.
The Panthers (2-18, 1-8) scoring efforts were evenly distributed with Carmen Tellez leading the way, pouring in eight. Belmont (19-3, 9-0) kept Eastern Illinois to 28 percent from the field while holding them to just two trips to the charity stripe.
A 23-2 run down the stretch helped Belmont recover from a sluggish start to the game. The Bruins were held to a season-low 22 first half points, only recording nine field goals – three of which came from beyond the arc. EIU took advantage of BU's scoring woes, never allowing the Bruins to get ahead more than three points until the end of the third quarter.
E. Harmeyer and Maggard were the sole players sporting the red and blue to score in the second quarter, netting all 11 points for Belmont to give them a 22-21 advantage at the intermission. While struggling to find a rhythm in the first 20 minutes, BU continued to make key stops on the other end of the court to limit the Panthers scoring opportunities with the help of a pair of blocks from McCabe.
E. Harmeyer drains one from deep! pic.twitter.com/XuDwSL2LPa— Belmont WBasketball (@BelmontWBB) January 25, 2018
The pace of the game picked up with four minutes remaining in the third stanza as Belmont finished the frame on a 10-2 run before scoring 13 unanswered points to start the fourth quarter. Sophomore guard Maddie Wright (Chattanooga, Tenn.) ignited the run with a jumper at the 3:19 mark of the third. Maggard and E. Harmeyer once again teamed up to register five points in the final minute that gave BU its largest of the advantage, 38-31, at the end of the third.
BU holding EIU scoreless four minutes into the fourth, pouring in 13 unanswered points during that span to go up, 51-31.— Belmont WBasketball (@BelmontWBB) January 26, 2018
From there the Bruins took control of the game, outscoring Eastern Illinois, 21-6, in the fourth quarter. Maggard drained four second half treys while E. Harmeyer went 6-for-8 from the field on the night. The squad continued to make defensive stops as McCabe finished the game with five blocks while the team collectively outrebounded the Panthers, 46-32.
- Belmont's win marks its 10th straight, this is the third consecutive season that the Bruins have won 10 games in a row.
- Ellie Harmeyer registered her second career double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
- Darby Maggard produces her 20th double-digit performance of the season.
- It was the fourth time this season that Sally McCabe has registered at least 5 blocks in a game.
- BU has won its last 34 consecutive games against league opponents, including OVC tournament contests, dating back to the 2015-16 season – the second longest streak in the nation.
- The Bruins 19-3 mark on the season is its best since the 1993-94 campagn when BU started 20-2.
Belmont concludes its four-game home stand with SIUE on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 3 p.m. inside the Curb Event Center. The Bruins will be celebrating 50 years of women's sports at BU by honoring the inaugural women's basketball team and the team's that have followed them during the game.