After a tough round of losses on the road and a buzzer beating win against Lipscomb, Belmont women’s basketball returned to the Curb Event Center with a bang, beating MTSU 68-57 Saturday afternoon.
The Bruins came out looking strong with senior Maddie Wright scoring 6 points in the first two minutes of the game. They maintained a slim lead over the Blue Raiders for all of the first quarter, which ended with Belmont up 18-15.
A brief 7-point scoring run at the end of the first quarter and start of the second quarter gave MTSU a 20-18 lead, but the Bruins quickly answered with a three-pointer from senior Maura Munsterman. After that, the Blue Raiders kept the game close for the most part but never took the lead again.
At halftime, Belmont led 32-29, with help from their three senior stars, Wright, Munsterman and Ellie Harmeyer.
The Bruins relied heavily on Harmeyer throughout the game, who led the team with 21 points and 8 rebounds. The senior has been a major difference-maker for Belmont all season, leading in points per game with 17, rebounds per game with 10.9 and playing an average of 30.8 minutes.
Throughout the third quarter, Belmont extended its lead, largely thanks to 9 points from sophomore Conley Chinn. By the end, the Bruins were up 51-41.
Belmont started to struggle in the final quarter, though, when two quick fouls on Chinn and another on Harmeyer gave MTSU room to challenge the Bruin’s lead. The two teams battled back and forth on both ends of the court, until MTSU cut the score to 55-52 with just 4:40 left in the game.
The Bruins held on thanks to more scoring from the three seniors in the last 5 minutes, and the team ultimately won 68-57. Wright and Munsterman each ended with 12 points.
But it wasn’t just the veteran players who secured Belmont’s victory. Sophomore Jamilyn Kinney led the team with a career-high 9 assists, and Chinn’s 9 points and 7 rebounds were instrumental. Freshman Kikki Britzmann contributed 8 points, as well.
The team will head back on the road for one more non-conference game, taking on Marquette on Saturday Dec. 21. Then the Bruins will return to the Curb to kick off conference play with a matchup against SIUE on Jan. 2.
Photos by Bronte Lebo.