NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont women's basketball (14-3, 4-0) hits the road to take on SIUE (7-8, 4-0) on Wednesday, Jan. 10 inside the Vadalabene Center. The Bruins and the Cougars are vying for the top spot in OVC standings as the only two teams still perfect in league play.
ABOUT THE BRUINS
Belmont continued its flawless start to OVC play with a pair of home victories a week ago to move to 4-0 against league foes. The squad has now won its last 23-straight regular season conference games and 29 consecutive including OVC tournament contests. BU moves to 14-3 overall, having won its last five games. Two of the Bruins three losses came to nationally ranked teams, the other coming to a talented Wright State team that was ranked in the mid-major polls.
BU's offensive production has been led by veterans Kylee Smith (Alpharetta, Ga.), Sally McCabe (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) and Darby Maggard (Larwill, Ind.) who are all averaging at least 15.5 points per game. As a team, the Bruins are averaging 79.6 points per game while shooting an impressive .476 clip from the field - a mark that ranks 13th in the nation. Belmont leads the conference in assists, scoring offense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, assist turnover ratio, three-point field goal percentage, and three-point field goals made.
The squad has out-rebounded their opponents in 14 of their 17 games, winning all such contests while averaging 41.3 rebounds per game. BU is outscoring its opponents by a margin of 17.9 points, having poured in at least 70 points in all but four of its games.
LAST TIME AROUND
The Bruins routed the Cougars, 94-67 in their sole meeting last year inside the Curb Event Center. Kylee Smith led the team with 25 points with the help of four made threes. Maddie Wright (Chattanooga, Tenn.) poured in 11 points on a 5-for-7 performance from the field.
Belmont's 14-3 start to the season is its best since the 2001-02 season where they also kicked off the campaign with a 14-3 mark. The last time a Bruin team boasted a better record in its first 17 contests was during the 1993-94 season when they went 16-1.
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
Belmont women's basketball has dominated the Ohio Valley Conference the last three seasons, compiling a 33-3 mark against such opponents. The Bruins have won 29 consecutive games against league foes, including OVC Tournament contests. They've also won back-to-back OVC tournament titles to earn consecutive NCAA tournament berths. Three games into league play, BU is averaging 70.2 ppg while shooting .502 from the field.
Sally McCabe ranked ninth in all of NCAA Division I with 95 blocks and 12th in blocks per game with 2.88 during her junior campaign. Her 95 swats were the most in a single season in program history. McCabe's 231 career blocks sit second in both program and OVC history. She has rejected 33 shots thus far in her senior season, sitting 18th in the nation with 2.54 blocks per game. In addition to contributing defensively, McCabe recently became the program's NCAA Division I leader in career made field goals.
COOKIN' IN CONFERENCE
Belmont's 29-straight conference wins ranks second in the nation - only to UCONN (85) - in consecutive victories against conference opponents. The Bruins are followed by Drake (24) and New Mexico State (19).
ROY ROUNDS OUT THE BRUINS
Junior guard Jenny Roy (Brentwood, Tenn.) does a little bit of everything for Belmont. She leads the squad in rebounds with 137 on the season, averaging 8.1 per game. On top of being a key defender, Roy is second on the team in steals (14) and second in assists (72) while shooting .469 from the field and .683 from the charity stripe. In last week's OVC games, Roy nearly averaged a double-double with 12 ppg and 9.5 rpg, while compiling 10 assists, five blocks and four steals.
AMONG THE NATION'S BEST
Belmont currently ranks nationally in the top-20 in 12 categories, assist turnover ratio (4th), three-point field goal made (4th), three-point field goal per game (5th), assists (7th), turnovers per game (8th), personal fouls per game (10th), assists per game (11th), field goal percentage (13th), defensive rebounds per game (20th), rebound margin (20th), rebounds (20th), and scoring margin (20th).
2018 OVC TOURNAMENT
The 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Men's and Women's Basketball Championships presented by VisitMyrtleBeach.com, will be held February 28 through March 3 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. For ticket information, call 615-460-BALL or log onto belmontbruins.com/tickets and select the OVC Tournament Tickets link. All-session passes purchased before Feb. 1 are only $62. Exact seating location will be assigned based on level of priority.
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