Belmont women first to clinch NCAA tournament bid with Ohio Valley Conference championship win

Belmont became the first team to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA women's basketball tournament, defeating top-seeded UT Martin 83-75 on Saturday in Evansville, Indiana, to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship.

Freshman guard Destinee Wells led the second-seeded Bruins with 32 points, seven assists and four steals. Wells was 10-of-17 from the floor and 8-of-8 from the line. Wells was ranked No. 81 in the ESPN HoopGurlz top 100 for the prep class of 2020.

Belmont (20-5) avenged its 66-63 regular-season loss to UT Martin on Jan. 26.

The Bruins have won the OVC tournament and clinched the automatic NCAA bid in five of the past six seasons.

This will mark their sixth NCAA tournament appearance overall.

Last year, Southeast Missouri beat UT Martin for the OVC women's title and bid, but the NCAA tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.