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Hot Shooting Belmont Topples Cougars

Donshel Beck
Donshel Beck

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The two teams with the longest winning streaks in the Ohio Valley Conference clashed Wednesday, and Belmont downed SIUE at the Curb Event Center 94-67.

SIUE women's basketball has its four-game winning streak snapped and is now 5-5 in the OVC and 9-14 overall. Belmont extended its win streak to 12 games and remains undefeated in conference play at 10-0. The Bruins are 18-5 overall.

The Cougars shot 50 percent in the second half but struggled to stop Belmont, which shot 55 percent for the game.

SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher said what comes next is important. She challenged her players to look past Wednesday's game.

"Are we going to respond the right way after this?" asked Buscher. "If we respond the right way after this, this group can be special."

Donshel Beck and Micah Jones were the lone players for the Cougars to score in double figures despite both fouling out of the game. Beck finished with 22 points and a team-high 15 rebounds. Jones added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field.

The Cougars hung tough with Belmont in the opening period, finishing the first 10 minutes down 11-9. After Amri Wilder's bucket tied the game 11-11 to open the second period, Belmont went on a steady run to outscore the Cougars 28-12 and take a 39-21 lead at halftime.

"Our struggles in the second quarter really wore on us," said Buscher. "We struggled scoring. They played us well, but we were passive. We wanted to attack the basket earlier in the game. I thought we did it later in the game."

Kylee Smith led the charge for Belmont with 25 points, including four three-pointers. Lauren Thompson finished with 17 while Maddie Wright added 11 off the bench.

The Cougars will look to rebound Saturday when they return home for the Pink Zone game. Tipoff time is noon at the Vadalabene Center against Jacksonville State. For more information about the Pink Zone game, Coach Buscher's challenge and breast cancer awareness, go to siuecougars.com/promotions/2017PinkZone.

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