The Belmont women’s basketball team crushed Southern Illinois University Edwardsville 87-54, securing its third straight Ohio Valley Conference Regular Season Championship at the Curb Event Center on Saturday afternoon.
It was very special night at the Curb, as all four seniors — Jenny Roy, Darby Maggard, Paris Lawson and Hannah Harmeyer — were in the starting lineup for the Bruins.
Lawson, who has been sidelined all season with a knee injury, got the chance to suit up in the Bruins’ white and blue for tip-off and then was subbed right after the first whistle blew.
“I wasn’t out there running or anything, but I knew I was going to start, and it was such a special moment,” said Lawson.
Hannah Harmeyer started for the first time this season and scored 4 points, including a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter that brought the arena to their feet. Harmeyer knew how special the moment was, especially since this game was the last she’d play with her sister Ellie in the Curb.
“It’s a special moment, and you really can’t put it into words, because being subbed out of the game for the last time, everyone around is just on their feet applauding you. It’s just a really cool moment, and it’s something that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” said Harmeyer.
The Bruins played a great game, even with the thought of their last home game of the season looming over them. Belmont struggled at the 3-point line early on, only hitting one in the first half.
Belmont finished the night shooting 35.7 percent from the arch, hitting 6 three’s in the third quarter.
Seniors Maggard and Roy also had memorable nights, not only with their teammates and families but also with their performances.
Maggard scored 22 points in her final home game as a Bruin, making this Maggard’s 100th game scoring in the double digits.
“You come in as a freshman, and you’re just like, ‘Wow, this is awesome. This arena’s beautiful. It’s crazy,’ but little do you know, is that you’re going to put in hours and hours and hours of hard work with people who are going to become your best friends,” said Maggard.
Roy also played one of her best games this season, scoring 12 points and earning 6 rebounds and 5 assists. The senior superstar also picked up her 451st career assist, now sitting at the second in the Division I era in assists. Maggard sits at No. 1.
“Playing your last game in the Curb kind of gets you in your feelings, but it’s just been an incredible place. The crowd, the atmosphere, this university,” said Roy. “I’m so honored to have spent the last four years here, and it’s changed my life in ways I never imagined possible.”
The Bruins improved their OVC record to 15-1 and have clinched the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament, which starts on March 6.
Belmont will play its final two games on the road, first at UT Martin on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and then at Southeast Missouri on Saturday at 4:30 p.m..
Photos by Carina Eudy and Joe Bendekovic