CLEMSON, S.C. – The Belmont women's basketball team heads east this week to play a major program from the Atlantic Coast Conference for the second time this season. And for the second time the Bruins are hoping to prove their mettle.
Belmont (4-2) visits Clemson on Sunday for a 1 p.m. tipoff at Littlejohn Coliseum, having already faced ACC front-runner North Carolina State this year. The Bruins led the Wolfpack until late in the third quarter before succumbing in a 77-62 final in the season opener.
Clemson (4-3) is one of three Power Five conference programs on the schedule for Belmont this season. The Bruins also face nationally ranked Tennessee of the SEC after Christmas.
"These are games you dream of as a little kid," said Belmont junior forward Ellie Harmeyer (Kenosha, Wis.). "You dream about playing those big schools, going to those big places and making all kinds of shots.
"Even though we lost to NC State, we put on a good performance for the first three quarters. It helps put Belmont on the map and it also makes us better as a team because we get to play that kind of competition throughout the non-conference season. That gets us ready for conference."
The Bruins are looking to rebound after dropping a close 78-69 decision to Toledo at home on Thursday. That snapped a four-game winning streak and was just Belmont's third loss at the Curb Event Center dating back to the start of the 2015-16 season. Harmeyer scored a career high 26 points in the loss.
Belmont won the only matchup between the two teams, 85-62, on Nov. 25, 2005. The game was played on a neutral court at the University of Memphis Lady Tiger Classic. The teams have never played at Clemson.
COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS HONORS
Belmont players have been named the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week in each of the past two weeks with junior Ellie Harmeyer being honored this past Monday and senior Darby Maggard the week before.
WATCH OUT FOR MAGGARD
Senior Darby Maggard is one of 35 players named to the watch list for the Wade Trophy given to the nation's top college women's basketball player by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. She was also on the preseason watch list for the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award as one of the top 20 shooting guards in the country.
RECORD REACHED FOR MAGGARD
With 16 points at Northern Kentucky on Nov. 21, Maggard became Belmont's career scoring leader in the NCAA era (since 1997-98) with 1,553 points. She passed former teammate Sally McCabe (1,540 points) for the top spot and now ranks sixth in Belmont's overall program history.
LIGHTS OUT SHOOTER
Maggard ranks second among active NCAA players in 3-point shooting percentage (43.9%) and first in free-throw percentage (92.7%). She is also No. 2 among active players in made 3-pointers (339), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.76) and third in assists (564).
ELLIE'S BIG OUTING
Junior forward Ellie Harmeyer smashed her career scoring best with 26 points against Toledo on Nov. 29. She scored 19 in the second half alone. Her previous high was 20 points, done twice. Her 26 points are the highest by a Bruin player this season.
Harmeyer grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds and scored 11 points on Nov. 19 against MTSU to help the Bruins to victory and notch Belmont's first double-double of the season. It's her fourth career double-double.
ROY THE THIEF
Senior guard Jenny Roy has had two games with five steals this season, once at [17/16] North Carolina State on Nov. 7 and once vs. Toledo on Nov 29. Before Roy, no Bruin player had at least five steals in a game since Taylor Mills got five against Tennessee State on Jan. 1, 2014.
Both Maggard and Harmeyer have reached double figures in all six games for Belmont this year. Harmeyer has scored no fewer than 11 points with Maggard tallying no fewer than 12.
ONE MORE YEAR
Belmont guard Maura Muensterman has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after a successful eligibility extension waiver petition. A transfer from Indiana, Muensterman missed all but the first three games of the 2016-17 season due to injury.
A whopping 2,461 fans attended Belmont's game vs. Toledo on Nov. 29, a Curb Event Center record for a women's basketball game. The previous high came last year during Homecoming when 2,278 fans watched the Bruins face Tennessee State on Feb. 24, 2018.