MURRAY, Ky. – A four-game winning streak has placed the Belmont women's basketball team exactly where it had hoped to be as the Ohio Valley Conference schedule nears its midway point: within sight of the top of the conference standings.
Belmont is currently second in the OVC pecking order at 5-1 (12-5 overall), just a game behind Tennessee Tech (6-0, 14-3).
Belmont's winning ways will be put to the test Thursday at Murray State (2-4, 6-11). The four-game tear is tied for the Bruins' longest streak this season, all four coming against OVC opponents by at least 23 points.
Stellar defense and rebounding have propelled the dominant run. The Bruins now lead the league in both defensive scoring (57.0 points allowed per game) and rebounding (41.7 per game). That second stat has created crucial benefits in two ways for the Bruins, junior Maddie Wright (Chattanooga, Tenn.) said.
"It's really important limiting second chance points for the opponent," said Wright, who Monday was named OVC Player of the Week by College Sports Madness, "but it's also important that we get ourselves extra points (with second-chance possessions)."
The Bruins will this week face a pair of teams with high-scoring offenses, with the Murray State (69.9 ppg) game giving way to a clash at Austin Peay (71.1 ppg) on Saturday.
A string of solid defensive performances will have no impact on the outcomes of these two road games, Wright pointed out. Success is up to Belmont and its own execution.
"We have respect for every single team we play. We know these teams are great on the offensive side and they're going to give us their best shot every time," Wright said. "They don't want us to play our game, but doing what we do best is the only thing we can control. That's our mindset coming into these games."