Unstoppable

Unstoppable

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. –  Junior guard Darby Maggard's (Larwill, Ind.) 24-point performance carried Belmont women's basketball past SIUE, 72-55, Wednesday night inside the Vadalabene Center. The Bruins combined for 12 made threes to notch their 30th consecutive OVC victory, moving to 5-0 on the season.

Maggard was joined by a pair of double-digit performances from junior guard Maura Muensterman (Evansville, Ind.) and senior center Sally McCabe (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) who poured in 12 and 11 points, respectively. Including the trio, Belmont (15-3, 5-0) saw eight different players score at least two points. Defensively, the squad was powered by junior Jenny Roy (Brentwood, Tenn.) who compiled 10 rebounds and three steals for the Bruins.

SIUE (7-9, 4-1) was led by Donshel Beck's 18 points and five boards. The Cougars also received help from Lauren White (11 points) and Gwen Adams (10 points). Collectively, the team shot 33 percent from the field on 20 made field goals. 

The Bruins got out to a quick start and never looked back. The squad scored 12 points before ever allowing a Cougar to find the bottom of the net. SIUE wouldn't find themselves on the board until six minutes into the first quarter. Meanwhile, six different Bruins scored in the opening stanza including Muensterman who drained a three in her first action since Nov. 28. SIUE finished the quarter on a 6-0 run to come within eight, 19-11, as the buzzer rang.

The second stanza got out to a similar start as the Bruins opened up with a 10-1 run, once again keeping the Cougars without a field goal for the first five minutes. Rookie guard Caitlyn Yost (Lewisburg, Tenn.) got things going, draining a three before 10 seconds had even ticked off the clock. Maggard took over, dropping nine points on three made treys, making the junior Belmont's NCAA Division I leader in career made threes with 257. The mark also moved her to second all-time for the program. Her record breaking three put the Bruins up 20, 37-17, with two minutes remaining in the half. From then on BU couldn't convert, but never the less outscored SIUE 18-8 in the second to take a 37-19 advantage into intermission. 

It was a different story coming out of the locker room as Belmont struggled to find a rhythm for much of the third quarter. Both teams combined for just 10 points at the first media timeout nearly six minutes into the frame. Out of the break the Cougars mounted a 15-2 run that allowed them to make it a seven-point game, 43-34, with 1:50 remaining. Roy hit a three-pointer as time expired in the third to push Belmont's lead to 48-38.

After an uncharacteristic third quarter, the Bruins found their stroke igniting for five threes in the final 10 minutes. In fact, Belmont's first four scoring plays each amounted to three points. Maggard kicked off the scoring frenzy with back-to-back treys before Muensterman joined heaving a long ball of her own. McCabe then converted an and-1 at the line as BU quickly jetted out to a 12-point advantage. Muensterman went on to drain two more buckets from beyond the arc as the squad outscored SIUE, 24-17, to deny the Cougars of their comeback bid. 

UP NEXT

The Bruins head to Charleston, Ill. for their final road trip of the month on Saturday, Jan. 13 to take on Eastern Illinois. The Bruins and Panthers are slated for a 1 p.m. tip inside Lantz Arena.