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Opening Night Triumph

Opening Night Triumph

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont Bruins collected a season-opening 63-50 victory over the Chattanooga Mocs at the Curb Event Center on Wednesday night. Senior Ellie Harmeyer propelled the Bruins with a double-double of 22 points and a career-best 20 rebounds.

Sophomore Conley Chinn chipped in 12 points and five rebounds for Belmont (1-0), as senior Maura Muensterman and freshman Kiki Britzmann each nabbed nine points in the win. 

Senior Lakelyn Bouldin led the Mocs (0-1) with 21 points and three rebounds, as no other Chattanooga player logged double-digit points. 

Britzmann opened up the game with her first-career bucket and the first points of Belmont's season just over a minute into the contest. Minutes later, a 3-pointer from Chinn at the 6:36 mark jumped the Bruins out to a 9-2 run. Muensterman found the bottom of the net from beyond the arc with 1:02 left in the opening quarter to give Belmont a 19-14 advantage. 

Both teams entered the second quarter with stout defense, as only two points were scored through the first four minutes. Muensterman registered another 3-pointer to gift the Bruins their first points of quarter at the 5:47 mark of the second 10 minutes. Belmont notched back-to-back buckets in the final 45 seconds to take a 35-30 lead at the halftime break.

The Bruins shot 50 percent from the field on 13-of-26 shooting through two quarters, as they held the Mocs to just over a 40 percent clip. Six different Belmont players notched points in the half, as Harmeyer tallied a team-high 11 points and six rebounds. 

After just two points scored through the first three minutes of the second half, a layup from Harmeyer sparked a two-minute 6-0 run for the Bruins. Senior Maddie Wright added a second-chance put back to increase Belmont's margin to 45-37 with one minute left in the third quarter. Chinn tacked on an and-one at the 28-second mark to give the Bruins a 48-41 advantage going into the final 10 minutes.

Harmeyer and Muensterman led Belmont to a 7-0 run to begin the fourth quarter, as Britzmann gave the Bruins their largest lead of the game (14 points) with a 3-pointer at the five minute mark. The teams traded points, but Chattanooga was unable to cut the deficit in the final quarter of play to give Belmont a 63-50 home victory. 

Overall, the Bruins held the Mocs to 34 percent shooting from the floor, as Chinn tabbed her seventh double-figure game of her career and a career-best four assists. Wright, sophomore Maddie Cook, and sophomore Allison Luly combined for 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting. 

PAINT BEAST: Harmeyer logged a double-double for Belmont in just 22 minutes of in-game action. She now has 15 double-doubles over the last two seasons and has logged 10-plus points in 21 of her last 24 outings. 

SEASON OPENER SUCCESS: Wednesday's victory boosted the Bruins all-time record to 40-12 in season-opening games. 

UP NEXT: Belmont stays home to take on the UCF Knights at the Curb Event Center on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in the Bruins second non-conference tilt of the season.

QUOTES:

Ellie Harmeyer, senior forward 

"I have to give it all to my teammates, they have been working their butt's off in practice ever since June. The team has gotten so much better and they gave me the ball in the right places today. Everything just fell into place. This is a huge win for us, Chattanooga is a really good program and has been for a long time. Getting this one under our belt will only give us more confidence for the rest of the season. We still have a lot to improve upon, but I am really excited about that."