NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Chelsea Lyles tied her career-high with 22 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team extended their winning streak to four games by defeating the Bruins of Belmont 81-48 at the Curb Event Center.
With the win, FGCU improves their record to 8-3 overall (3-0 A-Sun) while the Bruins fall to 6-5 overall (1-2 A-Sun). The win also marks the fifth consecutive game that the Eagles have had at least three players score in double figures.
Lyles (Colorado Springs, Col.) led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-8 from behind the arc. Senior Adrianne McNally (Howell, Mich.) registered 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting (7-of-10 from the charity stripe). McNally also tallied seven boards and four assists in 32 minutes of action. Senior Brittany Brown (Flint, Mich.) scored 12 points off the FGCU bench. As a team, the Blue and Green knocked down 11 3-pointers.
Haley Nelson led the Bruins with 14 points and six rebounds.
The Eagles opened the game on fire as they used a 24-6 run to get a quick jump on Belmont. FGCU shot 53.3-percent (8-of-15) from the field and 50-percent (4-of-8) from behind the arc during the run, which spanned the first 8:41 of the half. The Bruins countered with a quick 8-2 run of their own to cut the FGCU lead down to 12 points (26-14) with 6:31 remaining in the half.
The Eagles responded with a quick 12-0 run, capped by a pair of Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich.) free-throws, to push their lead to 24 points (38-14) with 2:56 left in the opening half, and outscored the Bruins 12-3 over the final 6:24 to take a 38-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Blue and Green continued their hot shooting in the second half and after a pair of free-throws from Belmont’s Nelson, FGCU found themselves up by 20 points (61-41) with 9:03 remaining in the game. The Eagles went on to outscore the Bruins 20-7 over the final nine minutes, which included a 14-3 run over the final 5:15, to take down Belmont 81-48 to pick up their third A-Sun victory of the season. Lyles and Brown each scored seven points during the Blue and Green’s 20-7 run to finish the game.
After shooting 53.8-percent from the field (14-of-26) and 38.5-percent (5-of-13) from behind the arc in the first half, FGCU shot just over 54-percent in the final 20 minutes of the game. For the contest, the Eagles shot 54.0 percent (27-of-50) from the floor, hitting 11-of-26 (42.3-percent) three-pointers, while holding Belmont to only 29.1-percent (16-of-55) from the floor and 11.1-percent (2-of-18) from outside the arc.
FGCU will be back in action Monday, Jan. 4 as they head to Lipscomb University's Allen Arena to battle the Bisons at 6:15 p.m. EST. The Eagles land back at home on Jan. 7 when they play host to the Ospreys of North Florida, tip-off is set for 6:05 p.m. at Alico Arena.