FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Belmont women's basketball team (9-15, 8-5 A-Sun) will look to rebound from its loss earlier this week when it faces off at Florida Gulf Coast (22-2, 14-0 A-Sun) on Saturday night.
Florida Gulf Coast will look to maintain its unblemished conference mark when Belmont comes to Fort Myers this weekend. The Eagles, who were the first team to clench a spot in the 2012 General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Championships, sport an overall record of 22-2 and a league mark of 14-0. FGCU is led in scoring by Sarah Hansen, who is averaging 13.3 points per contest. Also averaging in double digits are Nicoya Jackson and Kelsey Jacobson, who are adding 11.4 and 10.7 points per game, respectively. Hansen also leads the team in rebounds, pulling down 6.1 per outing.
Back on January 11, the upset minded Belmont women's basketball team nearly toppled visiting Atlantic Sun leader Florida Gulf Coast at the Curb Event Center. The Bruins kept it within one down the stretch but were held off by the Eagles in the final seconds, 57-50, marking the first time this season any conference team held their point differential to single digits. Senior Haley Nelson (Scottsboro, Ala.) notched her seventh double-double of the season with 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Classmate Tristan Daniel (Waynesboro, Tenn.) dropped in 10 points while redshirt junior Katie Brooks (Maryville, Tenn.) finished with a game-high five assists and four steals.
FGCU holds the all-time series advantage, 7-1.
The Belmont women's basketball team was plagued by spotting shooting and was unable to overcome a early deficit, falling on road at Stetson, 68-46, on Thursday night. The loss, which snapped a three-game win streak for BU, marks is first for the Bruins on the road in DeLand since a February 2005 matchup. Daniel led the Bruins with 12 points while Brooks and freshman Katie Carroll (Lilburn, Ga.) added 10 points apiece. Nelson contributed seven points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and a game-high five blocks.
Nelson leads BU in scoring, field-goal percentage, rebounding, blocks and steals. She is averaging 14.6 points while shooting at a 52.5 percent clip, pulling down 8.8 boards per outing as well as 2.2 stops and 2.1 swipes per game. Brooks leads the team in assists with a total of 80. Sophomores Molly Ernst (Louisville, Ky.) and Julianne Downs (Franklin, Tenn.) and Carroll lead the Bruins in shooting at the charity stripe, knocking down 87.5, 84.6 and 83.3 percent, respectively. Visbeen and Ernst top BU's three-point shooters, knocking down 34.0 and 32.9 percent from behind the arc, respectively.
Three Bruins continue to make their collective presence felt in NCAA Division I statistics this week (as of 2/9). Nelson continues to stand among the best statistically among all NCAA Division I players in a whopping six categories. Her highest rankings are 8th in double doubles (12), 32nd in field-goal percentage (.525) and 35th in blocked shots per game (2.2). She is also ranked 72nd in rebounds per game (8.8), 173rd in points per game (14.6), and 249th in steals per game (1.9). Brooks comes in at 192nd in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.11) and 196th in assists per game (3.3) while Ernst is ranked 97th in three-point field goals per game (2.1) and 98th in three-point field-goal percentage (.324).
Saturday night's matchup is set to tip-off at 6:30 p.m. CT. The contest can be heard live via the internet on the Bruins Sports Network and seen on ASun.TV. Live stats and a Twitter feed (@BelmontWBB) will also be available.