NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Ellie Harmeyer's monster double-double of 28 points and 18 rebounds fueled the Belmont Bruins to a 70-58 victory over the Tennessee State Lady Tigers Thursday night at the Curb Event Center.
Harmeyer set her season high in points and added four assists in the Bruins' 18th consecutive home win. Senior Maura Muensterman chipped in 15 points, four assists and four rebounds. In total, Belmont (16-8, 11-2 OVC) outrebounded the Lady Tigers by a 48-33 margin and grabbed 15 offensive boards.
Tennessee State (3-20, 1-12 OVC) was led by junior Jaden Wrightsell, who posted a team-high 19 points and nine rebounds. Three Lady Tigers finished with double-figure points.
The Bruins fell behind 9-5 early in the first quarter, but a 3-pointer from Muensterman cut the Tennessee State lead down to one point at the 6:16 mark. A pair of free throws from Harmeyer cut the Belmont deficit to 13-11 with 2:46 remaining, but the Lady Tigers nailed a 3-pointer to add to their advantage. Sophomore Conley Chinn responded with a 3-pointer, but Tennessee State still took a 16-14 lead after 10 minutes of play.
Junior Madison Treece gained the lead for the Bruins at the 9:32 mark of the second period with an and-one. The Lady Tigers answered with a few buckets of their own to take back the lead, as Harmeyer scored four straight points to knot the game at 22 apiece with seven minutes left. Tennessee State still managed to maintain a two-possession advantage for the majority of the quarter. However, freshman Kiki Britzmann and Harmeyer meshed for six points in the final minute to give Belmont a 32-31 lead going into halftime.
At the half, Harmeyer notched a near double-double of 11 points and eight rebounds, while Kinney and Chinn combined for 11 first-half points. The Bruins racked up 12 second-chance points and 10 points from the bench in the first 20 minutes.
A deep range 3-pointer from sophomore Jamilyn Kinney at the 6:54 mark of the third period shot Belmont out to a 40-34 advantage. The Lady Tigers whittled down the lead to one possession, but Harmeyer scored four consecutive points to keep a 44-38 lead for the Bruins with four minutes remaining. Belmont traded buckets with Tennessee State to finish out the third period, as a paint layup from Harmeyer gifted the Bruins a 51-46 advantage.
A jumper from freshman Kiki Britzmann with 6:05 left capped off a 7-0 run for Belmont to start the final quarter, as the Bruins took a 58-46 lead. Muensterman chipped in a quick five points to give Belmont its largest lead of the game, 65-48. The Bruins kept the Lady Tigers at bay with three free throws from Harmeyer at the 2:13 mark, as they went on to corral the 70-58 victory.
Overall, nine different Belmont players scored on the evening, while sophomore Allison Luly tied her season-high in rebounds (6) in her second-career start. Britzmann chipped in seven points and snagged a career-high tying six rebounds. The Bruins saw 16 points from the bench, including five points and a block from Treece in 10 minutes played.
O-BOARDS: Belmont has grabbed 12 or more offensive rebounds in each of its last five games. For the second time this season, the Bruins have totaled 15 or more offensive boards in consecutive OVC games.
SPECIAL SEASON: Ellie Harmeyer has posted 17 double-doubles this season, nine of which have featured 20-plus points. She has registered a double-double in eight of her last nine outings and logged double-figure points in all but one game this year.
CHARITY STRIPE: Belmont racked up 20-plus free throws against Tennessee State, which marks the second straight game they have reached the mark. The Bruins have knocked down a combined 78 percent of their shots from the foul line in the last two games.
UP NEXT: Belmont stays home for a rematch with the Jacksonville State Gamecocks Saturday. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m. at the Curb Event Center.