NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Following a weeklong break from game action due to last Saturday's road contest at the University of Tennessee at Martin being postponed, the Belmont University women's basketball team returns to the hardwood Thursday evening versus Austin Peay State University. Presented by Cornerstone Financial Credit Union, the Bruins (7-5, 3-0 OVC) host the Governors (9-4, 2-1 OVC) inside the Curb Event Center at 5 p.m.
With last weekend's Ohio Valley Conference road game postponement, Belmont is in the midst of its lone three-game homestand of the season.
Thursday's conference tilt will be broadcast on ESPN+ with Dr. Rich Tiner (play-by-play) and former Bruin forward Ellie Harmeyer (analyst) calling the game. WKRN News 2's weekend evening news anchor and sports reporter Emily Proud, a former Belmont soccer student-athlete, will serve as sideline reporter. The matchup can also be heard on the Bruin Sports Network via Twitter. Live in-game statistics will be available at BelmontBruins.com.
- On their first three-game win streak of 2021-22, the Bruins defeated Southeast Missouri State University 85-65 in convincing fashion last Thursday in the Music City. With a half-foot of snow on the ground outside, Belmont turned up the heat inside the Curb Event Center.
- Five different Bruins scored in double figures for the second time this season and Belmont assisted on 21 of its 30 made field goals. The Bruins were relentless on the offensive glass and scored 26 points off 17 offensive boards, while forcing 22 Southeast Missouri turnovers and coming up with a season-best 14 steals. Belmont scored 40 of its 85 points in the paint.
- OVC Preseason Player of the Year Destinee Wells tied her season high with 21 points versus the Redhawks and freshman forward Tessa Miller continued to shine with a career-high 14 points. Senior forward Conley Chinn poured in a season-high 12 points last week against SEMO and the Bruins got 14 points from sophomore forward Madison Bartley. Sophomore guard Tuti Jones notched 12 points, distributed a game-best five assists and recorded a career-high tying seven steals.
- Last Thursday's victory over the visiting Redhawks snapped a two-game slide in Belmont's series with SEMO.
- Due to COVID-19 issues within the UT Martin program over the weekend, last Saturday's game has been rescheduled for Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17 in accordance with OVC protocols and the league's rescheduling policies. Tipoff from inside the Elam Center in Martin, Tennessee, is slated for 2 p.m.
- One of the top guards in the nation, Wells has reached double-figure scoring in 26 consecutive games dating back to last February. She pulled down a career-high tying six rebounds against the Redhawks last Thursday and scored eight of the Bruins' first 10 points and 10 of their first 14. Wells ranks second in the 10-team conference in scoring (17.0 PPG).
- In her inaugural collegiate season, Miller has scored in double figures in three of her last four outings. Versus SEMO last week, Miller went 7-for-9 from the floor and grabbed a game-high seven boards in 25 minutes off the bench. She has averaged 10.8 points and seven rebounds over the last four games.
- Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Belmont is 99-21 (.825) at home and the Bruins have gone 47-7 (.870) inside the Curb Event Center under head coach Bart Brooks.
- Including conference tournament games, coach Brooks has led Belmont to an astonishing 77-8 (.906) record against OVC opponents since taking over the reins of the program in April of 2017.
- The Bruins' 66 points scored at top-three ranked Louisville on Sunday, Dec. 5 in Kentucky remain the most the Cardinals have given up to any opponent this season. Louisville is receiving first-place votes in both the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 and USA Today Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Coaches Poll.
- Thursday will be the 34th all-time meeting between Belmont and Austin Peay with the Bruins holding a commanding 26-7 lead in the series.
- Having won eight straight against the Governors, Belmont's matchup with Austin Peay will be the first regular season meeting between the two teams since 2019-20. Last year's scheduled game in Clarksville, Tennessee, was canceled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
- In the Governors' last trip to the Curb Event Center on Feb. 8, 2020, the Bruins claimed a 69-46 win in front of an announced crowd of 1,664. Belmont held a plus-19 advantage on the glass in the triumph.
- Austin Peay has been the Bruins' first round opponent in each of the last two OVC Championships with Belmont victorious in both matchups. In the 2020 OVC Championship quarterfinals, the Bruins won a 76-73 thriller over the Governors before topping Austin Peay 54-50 in last year's OVC Championship quarters.
- Last March as the No. 2 seed in the 2021 OVC Championship, Belmont overcame 1-for-11 outside shooting and a three-point halftime deficit inside the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. Paced by Wells' game-high 23 points, the Bruins made 15 free throws and outscored the seventh-seeded Governors 30-23 in the second half to advance in the conference tournament.
- Coach Brooks is an unblemished 6-0 versus Austin Peay.
- Belmont has either been ranked or received votes in at least one of the two major national polls for seven consecutive seasons.
- The Bruins remain a top-20 team in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25®, checking in at No. 16 in this week's poll.
About the Governors
- Head coach Brittany Young is in her first season leading Austin Peay and has the Governors off to a 9-4 start.
- Three games into league play, Austin Peay defeated the likes of Southeast Missouri (72-62) on the road and Morehead State (66-49) at home. The Governors began OVC action with a 70-62 home loss to UT Martin on Dec. 30.
- Austin Peay went 7-3 in non-conference action, collecting wins at Butler (68-65), UNC Asheville (76-50) and Gardner-Webb (73-62) and claiming victories in Clarksville over NAIA Pikeville (78-49), North Alabama (74-58), Bellarmine (67-54) and NAIA UT Southern (74-35).
- Picked to finish fifth in the OVC in the preseason predicted order of finish, the Governors went 12-11 overall and 10-8 in conference play a year ago where they ended the season seventh in the final conference standings.
- One of the top shooting teams in the nation, Austin Peay ranks 24th in the country and is second in the OVC in field goal percentage (45.9). The Governors' scoring defense is also among league bests as Austin Peay is limiting opponents to 57.7 points per game, which ranks second in the OVC.
- Led by Jacksonville State transfer Yamia Johnson, a 2021 All-OVC First Team selection and preseason All-OVC pick, the Governors feature two double-figure scorers. Senior 5-foot-11 guard Johnson is averaging a team-leading 15.9 points per outing and graduate 5-foot-6 guard Karle Pace is averaging 14.5 points per contest.
- Freshman 6-foot forward Lyric Cole leads Austin Peay in rebounding (6.9 RPG) and sophomore 5-foot-6 guard Nina De Leon Negron leads the team in assists (4.3 APG).
Belmont closes out its three-game homestand Saturday when the Bruins host Murray State at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+. Playing three games in five days, Belmont travels to UT Martin Monday for a 2 p.m. tip.
Belmont season tickets, which include the entire men's and women's basketball home schedule, are on sale now at BelmontBruins.com/Tickets, in addition to flex packs, single game tickets and group experiences. Fans can also call or text 615.460.BALL (2255).
To become a Bruin Club member, contact Russell Grimm at (615) 460-5668 or email@example.com.
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