NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont women's basketball team will make its 2018-19 home debut Monday evening after battling nationally ranked North Carolina State tough in the season opener last Wednesday.
Belmont welcomes Tulsa of the American Athletic Conference to the Curb Event Center for a 5 p.m. tipoff. The game can be streamed online through ESPN+ and will be immediately followed by the Bruin men's basketball team's bout with Middle Tennessee State in a home hoops doubleheader.
The Bruin women are 0-1 for the second consecutive season after playing a top-25 team in their opener. Last year Belmont answered its early adversity by winning 31 of its next 33 games.
"I thought we competed for 40 minutes and that's something we focused on throughout the month of October, competing for a whole practice," said junior Ellie Harmeyer (Kenosha, Wis.) of Belmont's 77-62 loss to [17/16] NC State. "I was very, very proud of my team for how we competed at NC State even though the outcome was not in our favor."
Belmont topped Tulsa on the road last season 90-65 just two days after playing at [22/21] Oklahoma. In a quintessential Belmont game, the Bruins shot the lights out from downtown by shooting 40 percent from 3-point range. Guard Darby Maggard (Larwill, Ind.) tied a school record with nine made threes and piled up 33 points in that game.
3️⃣3️⃣3️⃣3️⃣3️⃣3️⃣3️⃣3️⃣3️⃣— Belmont WBasketball (@BelmontWBB) November 11, 2018
Fact: Last time Belmont played Tulsa, Darby Maggard tied a school record with nine 3-pointers! ����
⛹️♀️ https://t.co/DaMLKcskQm#ItsBruinTime #splashville pic.twitter.com/7z57OJhuqE
After ranking third nationally a season ago in total 3-pointers, the three is still a Belmont weapon of choice in 2018-19. The Bruins' 13 made triples at NC State have them tied for sixth in per game 3-pointers. That said, BU is hoping to improve and find consistency in the paint against Tulsa, especially when it comes to rebounding.
"We played a really big, physical team almost even on the glass in the first half at NC State, and because of that we had the score to our advantage," said Belmont Head Coach Bart Brooks whose team led 36-29 at the break in Raleigh, N.C. "When that number started to go the other direction, that's where the score went too.
"That's going to be a focus for us for the rest of the year. We need to rebound the ball well because we are not going to be as big."
Belmont and Tulsa have split their two meetings in the history of the matchup. The Bruins won last year when the teams met in Oklahoma, 90-65, and the Golden Hurricane picked up a 69-63 win on a neutral court in Cancun, Mexico at the Caribbean Classic during the 2007-08 season. The teams have never met in Nashville.
RAINING THREES IN TULSA
During last season's meeting, guard Darby Maggard tied a Belmont record with nine made 3-pointers. She scored a career-high 33 points on 9 of 13 shooting from long range, the most made threes by a Bruin since Jenny Conkle set the record at Mercer on Feb. 19, 2005.
ROY THE THIEF
Senior Jenny Roy set a career high with five steals at [17/16] North Carolina State. It was the most steals by a Bruin player in nearly four years since Taylor Mills picked off five passes vs. Tennessee State on Jan. 1, 2014.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Bruins have been nearly impossible to beat at home the past three years, boasting an unprecedented 37-2 record inside the Curb Event Center. The two losses in that span came to a Green Bay (2016) squad that was receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Coaches poll and a Wright State (2017) team that was ranked 15th in CollegeInsider.com's mid-major poll. Belmont visits Wright State on Nov. 15 this year.
AWARD WATCH LIST
Maggard has been named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award watch list of the top 20 shooting guards in the nation by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Maggard was also on last year's preseason watch list for the award and finished as a finalist.
LIGHTS OUT SHOOTER
Maggard ranks first among active NCAA players in both 3-point percentage (43.8%) and free-throw percentage (92.3%). She is also No. 2 among active players in assists (548) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.78) as well as third in made 3-pointers (321).
With a 3-pointer against Tulsa, Maggard will extend her active streak of games with a 3-point field goal to 50 in a row. She had four threes against NC State to extend the streak to 49. Maggard's last game without a 3-pointer came way back on Jan. 18, 2017 at Jacksonville State.
WHAT A DEBUT
Coach Bart Brooks had an all-time great head coaching debut last year in leading Belmont to its 31-4 record. With 31 wins, Brooks tied for the fourth most wins ever by a first-year head coach in NCAA history. The all-time mark is 35 wins, shared by Jody Conradt of Texas (35-4) and Sonja Hogg Louisiana Tech (35-1), both set in 1982.
Belmont ranked third in the nation last year with 357 made 3-pointers. The Bruins hit at least 10 threes in 18 games and averaged 10.2 per game for the year to rank sixth in the country. They made 13 in their 2018-19 debut at [17/16] North Carolina State, tied for sixth most per game in the nation.