NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Allie Troeckler scored all 17 of her points in the second half Thursday for SIUE women's basketball, but the Cougars dropped their Ohio Valley Conference opener at Belmont 69-48 in the Curb Event Center.

"I thought Allie just got a little more aggressive in the second half," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "She decided 'I'm going to take it at you.'"

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With Christen King adding 14 points for the Cougars, more than 60 percent of the team's offense came from two starters.

"I thought she (King) was attacking the basket well, and taking what they gave her," said Buscher.

Troeckler, meanwhile, shot 6 of 7 from the field in the second half and made all five of her free throws attempts.

Buscher also noted the play of Zaria Whitlock. Although she scored just two points, Buscher said the junior forward was instrumental in keeping plays alive and providing positive moments that don't show up in the boxscore.

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Belmont, 6-6 overall and 1-0 in the OVC, took advantage of 28 second-chances point to push past the Cougars, now 2-10 overall and 0-1 in the OVC.

"I actually like our primary defense until the shot went up," said Buscher.

The Cougars crashed the offensive boards 14 times but only were able score six second-chance points.

"We have to do a better job finishing," said Buscher. "We get some effort, but we have to convert those boards."

Ellie Harmeyer, the OVC's preseason Player of the Year, stood out for the Bruins with 22 points and 13 rebounds. She shot 8 of 13 from the field.

SIUE now travels across town to Tennessee State for a 2 p.m. contest Saturday.

"You have to turn it around," noted Buscher.

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