A potent third-quarter run shut the door on Tennessee Tech University as the Bruins beat the Golden Eagles 73-61 at the Curb Event Center on Saturday.
Junior forward Conley Chinn and freshman guard Destinee Wells tied their career highs as Belmont improved to 14-5 overall and 11-3 in Ohio Valley Conference play.
In the game, Wells and Chinn scored 26 and 23 points and found themselves as the center of multiple fast-paced offensive onslaughts that Tennessee Tech never recovered from.
“Conley [Chinn] and Destinee [Wells] were benefactors of all the other players,” head coach Bart Brooks said after the game. “We moved the ball well and we spaced the floor well.”
Both players chose the second half of the contest to do most of their offensive damage. With 5:43 left in the third quarter, and Belmont holding on to an unconvincing 39-36 lead, Chinn made a layup extending the lead to five points, 41-36.
The layup got her going offensively as she scored the next seven points for the Bruins. By the time she cooled off with three minutes left to play in the quarter, Belmont held a 12 point lead, 50-38.
And though Tennessee Tech attempted a run of its own to close out the quarter, Belmont would not look back from its explosive mid-quarter run, answering Tennessee Tech basket for basket.
“Credit to Chinn, I thought she played great today. She’s been great in practice and it was great to see her have a big game like this,” Brooks said.
In the fourth quarter, it was all Wells. She scored 10 of her 26 in the frame, going 3-7 from the field and 2-3 from three. She was at the center of everything Belmont did down the stretch. And it was her offense that staved off various runs by the Golden Eagles.
“Destinee [Wells] is such a talented player with the ball in her hands. She set up so many things for our team today,” Brooks said.
The fourth quarter also provided an interesting offensive duel between Wells and senior Tennessee Tech guard Jordan Brock.
Brock put the Golden Eagles on her shoulders late in the game, as she scored 11 points in the final frame of action. She ended the game with 30 points, three points shy of her career-high 33 that she set against Eastern Illinois University in 2019.
In the game, Brock made 7-11 three-pointers which is one mark away from her career-high eight made against UT Martin this season.
As a team, the Bruins shot an extremely efficient 56 percent from the floor. And outside of Wells and Chinn, junior guard Jamilyn Kinney chipped in with nine points and four assists in 33 minutes of play.
Finishing the week 2-0 is a good sign for the Bruins – things are clicking at the right time. And after the game, all Brooks could say regarding the state of his team was that they are “just trying to get better every day.”
Well, that’s evident now as Belmont holds a four-game win streak heading into the last three games of the regular season.
Things only get tougher for the Bruins as they play Tennessee Tech in a rematch on Tuesday, this time in Cookeville with tip-off at 6 p.m.
“Every game has a life of its own. This game is going to have a lot to do with what happens on Tuesday, I know that,” Brooks said. “We got our hands full.”
This article written by Ian Kayanja.