With the intense environment at Columbia, Missouri, the Bruins were unable to secure the win against SEC school Missouri University on Monday.
For the first non-conference game of the season, the Bruins were defeated by the Tigers 61-72.
“It was a typical first game for both teams. I thought both teams had jitters and some discomfort offensively, especially early in the game,” Belmont head coach Bart Brooks said.
For the Bruins, the losses of Destinee Wells and Madison Bartley both transferred, leaving the team looking at a completely different lineup.
But there were some familiar faces in the starting lineup.
Redshirt junior Tuti Jones made her first appearance since December after her season ending injury against Georgia Tech.
Juniors Tessa Miller and Kylin McGuff returned for the Bruins as leading players for the team, as well as senior Blair Schoenwald.
Freshman Jailyn Banks also made her first collegiate appearance as a part of Belmont’s starting five, leading the team with 22 points against Missouri.
Graduate forward Hayley Frank led the Tigers with 15 points and seven rebounds.
The Bruins started off a bit slow, with a scoring drought during the first six minutes of the first quarter.
But McGuff made a layup in the paint to put the first couple of points up for the Bruins.
The Bruins slowly caught up to the Tigers, but their offense began to struggle once more, ending the first quarter down 12-18.
As the second quarter ramped up, the Bruins were still lacking in offense but held a more defensive standpoint against the Tigers.
The Bruins allowed only four points during the first half of the quarter.
Belmont slowly caught up to the Tigers, finishing the first half 27-30.
By the first half, Jones only made 1-7 of her field goals as well as Banks who continuously shot but only made 1-11 of her field goals.
Miller led the team with 4-4 field goals and 8 points.
With missed layups and three pointers from the Bruins, their offense and defense once again began to decline.
Banks was the spark plug for the Bruins, catching fire from the field.
“I thought Jailyn had to work her way through some stuff but got more comfortable as the game went and made some big plays for us,” Brooks said.
But with Belmont’s lacking offense, it wasn't able to put up many more points in the third quarter.
By the fourth quarter, the Bruins tried to keep pushing forward but were unable to succeed.
The Tigers controlled the ball and took 15 points from 16 Bruin turnovers.
But Brooks said he isn’t discouraged by the loss.
“We’re still working our way through this lineup. I don’t have a good feel for rotations and how we’re going to be at our best yet this year, but this was a starting point, and we’ll grow from it and learn from it,” Brooks said.
With the first game of the season leaving a disappointing result, the Bruins will make their way back to Nashville for their first home game of the season against the University of Georgia Friday night.
This article was written by Cat Da Rocha