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Middle Tennessee Game Preview

Middle Tennessee Game Preview

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Belmont and Middle Tennessee State are set to renew an old women's basketball rivalry Monday evening at the Murphy Center, a throwback to the earliest days of Belmont's program and the pre-history of MTSU's.

The game is set to tip off at 6:30 p.m. and will be streamed online via the subscription-based A radio stream is also available through the Bruin Sports Network, and tickets can be purchased for those fans wanting to make short trip to Murfreesboro. 

The teams' shared history stretches back to the 1969-70 season, a year after legendary coach Betty Wiseman founded Belmont's program and six years before Middle Tennessee officially recognized women's basketball as a varsity sport. Belmont won 11 of the 13 matchups during that time span.

The modern era of the rivalry has been decidedly more Blue Raider heavy. MTSU has won the last 16 meetings between the teams dating back to 1979, but the team's haven't met since November 21, 2000.

The 2018-19 game will feature a pair of 2-1 teams led by highly successful head coaches, Belmont's Bart Brooks and MTSU's Rick Insell. Though Brooks led the Bruins to a 31-4 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament in his first season with Belmont a year ago, he defers to Insell's vast experience in the field.

There's a reason he's Middle Tennessee's all-time winningest coach, Brooks said. Insell is 319-111 in 14 years leading the program and 1,094-159 across more than 40 years as a head coach at the college and high school level.

"Coach Insell is a legend in Tennessee. He's probably won more games than I've watched in my life," Brooks said. "To play against that program and the talented players on their roster that a lot of our players know, it's a great opportunity for our program to measure ourselves against one of the best mid-major teams not just in Tennessee but in the country."

Monday's game is Belmont's third contest of a stretch of four games in 10 days. The Bruins travel to Northern Kentucky next on Wednesday.






Middle Tennessee holds the edge in the all-time series with Belmont, 18-11. The teams haven't met since Nov. 21, 2000 when the Blue Raiders won 74-62 at Murfreesboro, Tenn. Belmont has lost the last 16 matchups overall in the series after going 11-2 to start the regional rivalry.


In the early days of the Belmont women's basketball program, Belmont dominated its matchups with Middle Tennessee. Belmont won 11 of the first 13 meetings between 1969 and 1975 but hasn't won since. The team's last win over MTSU came at home, 78-58, on Feb. 11, 1975


Darby Maggard needs just 16 points to pass former teammate Sally McCabe (1,540 points) and claim Belmont's career scoring record for the Division I era (since 1997-98). With 19 points against Tulsa, Maggard eclipsed 1,500 points for her Belmont career. She now sits at 1,525 career points, seventh overall in program history.


Maggard ranks first among active NCAA players in both 3-point percentage (44.2%) and freethrow percentage (92.3%). She is also No. 2 among active players in made 3-pointers (332), assists (554) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.78).


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.


Maggard extended her streak of games with a made 3-pointer to 51 with six threes against Wright State. Maggard's last game without a 3-pointer came way back on Jan. 18, 2017 at Jacksonville State.


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.


Maggard ranks first in the OVC in 3-pointers (5.0 per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.7), as well as fourth in scoring (18.7 ppg). Roy is second in assists (5.7) per game and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8). Maura Muensterman is third in made 3-pointers (3.3 per game)