NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A hot-shooting start was just the beginning as the Belmont women's basketball team put together its best offensive outing of the season Thursday and rolled to a 91-57 Ohio Valley Conference blowout of Southeast Missouri at the Curb Event Center.
Belmont (15-5, 8-1 OVC) blew past its season high in scoring, reaching 90 points for the first time this year to pick up its seventh straight victory. It all started with a 15-2 run to open the game, and the Bruins never looked back from there.
"Everything was working tonight. We were playing together, hitting the open people when they were open and not thinking twice about ripping a shot," said Belmont junior Maddie Wright (Chattanooga, Tenn.), who finished with a career-high 20 points. "The reason why we were able to hit so many shots is because we know we've got each other's backs on the glass too. That gives you the freedom to shoot."
Thursday was Belmont's first 90-point game this season, surpassing the team's previous high of 83 points against Lipscomb on Dec. 4. Belmont reached 90 points six times last season, including an NCAA-era program record of 111 at Vanderbilt.
The game marked the first time Belmont has had five players each score in double figures this year and the first time the Bruins have shot better than 50 percent from the field. BU hit 31-of-60 shots (52 percent), including shooting 15-of-33 from 3-point range.
Junior Maura Muensterman (Evansville, Ind.) had the greatest contribution there. She knocked down 5-of-6 triple attempts, including three in a row during a 1:20 stretch to open the third quarter that took the air out of the opposition completely.
"That definitely got the momentum going," said Muensterman, who finished with 16 points. "When you come out like that and immediately get that momentum, the energy just goes up, the focus goes up and you carry that to both ends. Everything clicks."
Senior Darby Maggard (Larwill, Ind.) scored 17 points, her fourth straight game with as many. She hit two 3-pointers to move into second place in OVC history with 378 career threes, but she also missed her first free throw of the season and saw her OVC-record-streak come to an end at 48 consecutive makes.
Belmont will next face fellow OVC front-runner UT Martin on Saturday, the first meeting between the teams since an overtime instant classic in last year's OVC Tournament championship game.
"(Thursday) is good momentum because we know we're still not all the way where we need to be," Wright said. "Martin is another chance to keep digging deeper to get to the next level offensively, defensively and on the glass. We're never going to be satisfied working on our game."
Up Next: Belmont hosts UT Martin (15-5, 7-2 OVC) back at the Curb on Saturday at 3 p.m.