NASHVILLE, Tenn. – First place in the Ohio Valley Conference is on the line Saturday when UT Martin visits the Curb Event Center to take on the hometown Belmont women's basketball team.
Belmont currently sits alone at the top of the conference standings at 8-1 in conference games (15-5 overall) thanks to a win over SEMO on Thursday coupled with a Tennessee Tech home loss to Austin Peay. UT Martin is one of three teams tied for second at 7-2 in the OVC.
Saturday's clash will be the first meeting between the Bruins and Skyhawks since an overtime thriller in the OVC Tournament championship game last March. The Bruins staged a dramatic comeback to force the extra period, winning there 63-56 to win a their third straight OVC title and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
LAST TIME OUT
Belmont scored a season-high 91 points in a 91-57 win over SEMO (1/31). It was the first time this season the Bruins surpassed 90 points (91), shot better than 50 percent (51.7%) and had five players reach double figures scoring in a single game.
Belmont is 22-11 all-time against UT Martin but 5-5 since joining the OVC in 2012. The teams have met four times in the OVC Tournament since then with each side winning twice, Including last year's OVC championship game instant classic, a 63-56 Belmont victory in overtime.
FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE
Belmont (8-1) took over first place in the OVC with Tennessee Tech's (7-2) loss to Austin Peay. The Bruins can tighten their grip with a win or fall into a tie for first with UT Martin (7-2) with a loss.
FREE THROW RECORD FOR MAGGARD
Darby Maggard set an OVC record with 48 consecutive free throws before missing her first of the season vs. SEMO (1/31). The previous OVC record streak was 44 (Paige Guffey, Murray State, 2008-09). Maggard's 48 straight makes tied her for the 14th-longest streak in NCAA Division I history and was the longest active streak in the nation.
MAGGARD'S RECORD RECAP
Darby Maggard took over second place in OVC history with 378 made 3-pointers vs. SEMO (1/31) and is just 15 out of first. That already ranks second in Belmont's all-time history. Maggard also recently became Belmont's NCAA-era career leader with 1,358 field goal attempts, sixth most in the program's all-time history. She also recently moved up the all-time leaderboard to second in 3-point tries (891), fifth in scoring (1,776 points) and sixth in field goals made (601).
ROY IN THE RECORD BOOK
Jenny Roy is the eighth Bruin to reach 400 assists and now has 402 after playing SEMO (1/31). She needs just 10 rebounds to become the 11th Bruin to reach 800 career rebounds as well.
HARMEYER'S REBOUND TRACKER
Ellie Harmeyer grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds vs. SEMO in a second straight game. She has 509 for her career, 10th most in Belmont's NCAA era, and is averaging 9.0 per game this year.
Belmont ranks 10th in the nation with 10.0 3-pointers per game with at least 10 threes in 12 of 20 games this season. The Bruins ranked third last year with 357 made 3-pointers, 10.2 per game.
SEVEN WINS AND COUNTING
Belmont has won its past seven games, its longest streak of the season. The Bruins set a program and OVC record with 22 straight wins a year ago.
REBOUNDS AND DEFENSE
Belmont is among the top defensive and rebounding team in the OVC this season. No team has allowed fewer points (57.3 per game) or held teams to a lower shooting percentage (35.1%). The Bruins also lead the conference in rebounds per game (42.0) and rebounding margin (+6.1). Belmont is 13-0 this year when out-rebounding their opponents, 2-5 in all other games.