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Ian Clark to begin NBA Summer League with Denver

Ian Clark to begin NBA Summer League with Denver

Posted on 09 July 2015 by Allen

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Former Belmont University men’s basketball All-American Ian Clark (’13) begins year three in the National Basketball Association this week.

Clark will represent the Denver Nuggets in NBA Summer League action from Las Vegas. The Memphis, Tennessee native rejoined his teammates Monday, opening the first of a four day mini-cap at the organization’s training facility.
Denver begins summer league play Friday, July 10 versus Atlanta. The Nuggets will also face Sacramento (July 12) and Miami (July 13) before the format shifts to tournament play.

Las Vegas brings back positive memories for Clark, as two years ago for the Golden State Warriors he took the basketball world by storm. Authoring a remarkable story of perseverance and faith, Clark scored a then-record 33 points in the championship game against Phoenix en route Most Valuable Player honors.

Clark played the 2013-14 campaign with the Utah Jazz, before splitting last season between Utah and Denver.
Among Clark’s summer league teammates is 2015 first round draft choice Emmanuel Mudiay.

Bruin fans can follow Ian during NBA Summer League here.

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Former Bruins Standing Out as Pros

Former Bruins Standing Out as Pros

Posted on 13 June 2015 by Allen

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Former Belmont University men’s basketball standouts enjoyed fine seasons this past year, and look to build upon their promising professional careers.

Ian Clark (’13), who graduated as the program’s NCAA Division I era leader in points (1,920) and three-point field goals made (340), completed his second season in the NBA.

The Memphis, Tenn. native played 30 games this past season, 23 for the Utah Jazz and seven for the Denver Nuggets. Clark averaged 1.9 points per game on 36 percent three-point shooting. Clark was also recognized by the Jazz organization for outstanding community service.

Clark is scheduled to participate in NBA Summer League for the Denver Nuggets in July.

Kerron Johnson (’13), a two-time conference tournament Most Valuable Player and author of the game-tying and game-winning shots in the 2013 OVC Championship, completed his second season of professional basketball as well. After one season in the Australian NBL for the New Zealand Breakers, Johnson came into his own this season for MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg of the German Bundesliga.

The Huntsville, Ala. native shot over 50 percent from the field and averaged 14.2 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game. Johnson scored 38 points in his German debut, and was named to the 2015 Beko BBL All-Star Game.

Earlier this week, Johnson told BelmontBruins.com that he was headed to Indianapolis to take part in Indiana Pacers’ mini-camp June 13-18.

J.J. Mann (’14), another conference player of the year for the Bruins, finished off his first season of professional basketball. After an early transfer from Poland, Mann shined for Redwell Oberwart Gunners of the top professional league in Austria.

The Smyrna, Ga. native averaged 13.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and a league-leading 2.0 steals per game on 41 percent three-point shooting.

Mann, who is engaged to marry former Belmont women’s soccer standout Amy Jo Anderson (’14) next month, told BelmontBruins.com earlier this week that he is weighing his options for next season, but that Belgium could be top billing among several European suitors.

Alex Renfroe (’09), Belmont’s second of four NCAA Division I era All-America selections, just completed his sixth season of professional basketball.

Renfroe was among the top players in the German Bundesliga, playing for respected organization Alba Berlin. As you may remember, Renfroe’s year got off to a flying start, as he and Alba Berlin stunned the reigning NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs in an exhibition game.

From there, the Hermitage, Tenn. provided his consistent production in all facets, averaging 10.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game in BBL play. Alba Berlin had its championship run halted in overtime of the final game. Renfroe also averaged 9.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game in EuroLeague action.
And earlier this week, Renfroe received a prestigious invitation to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the upcoming 2015 EuroBasket Tournament – one of the top basketball tournaments in the world.

Renfroe will join forces with Bosnia and Herzegovina nationals and current NBA players Mirza Teletovic (Brooklyn Nets) and Jusuf Nurkic (Denver Nuggets).

Finally, as featured in Sporting News this week, former Bruin point guard Drew Hanlen (’12) continues to shine in his NBA Strategic Skills and Consulting business. Among his clients is NBA Finalist David Lee of the Golden State Warriors.

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Bradshaw named TSWA Basketball Player of the Year

Bradshaw named TSWA Basketball Player of the Year

Posted on 28 April 2015 by Allen

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Belmont University men’s basketball junior Craig Bradshaw (Ridgetop, Tenn.) has been named the Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) Men’s Basketball Player of the Year.

Bradshaw, who led Belmont to a seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 10 years, electrified the Charlotte regional crowd and national television audience with his game-high 25-point performance against Atlantic Coast Conference Champion Virginia.

But with consistent play throughout the season, Bradshaw established himself as one of the top perimeter players in the nation.

The Ridgetop, Tenn. native ranked among NCAA leaders in scoring, three-point field goals per game, effective field goal percentage, and steals per game. Bradshaw also ranked among OVC leaders in eight statistical categories, including third in points per game (18.3).

Moreover, Bradshaw averaged 21.4 points per game over his final seven games, and has scored 1,172 points in his first three collegiate seasons.

In late November, the 6-3 guard scored 99 points in Bruin victories over Lipscomb, Denver and Ohio – including a Belmont NCAA era single-game record 42-point performance at the Bobcats that yielded multiple National Player of the Week honors.

In addition to being named National Basketball Coaches Association (NABC) All-District, First Team All-OVC and OVC All-Tournament Team, Bradshaw reached the pinnacle of his sport academically.

Earlier this season, Bradshaw was named Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America.

This marks the third consecutive year that a Belmont student-athlete has been named TSWA Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, with Bradshaw joining J.J. Mann (2014) and Ian Clark (2013).

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Belmont to play in 2015 Legends Classic

Belmont to play in 2015 Legends Classic

Posted on 22 April 2015 by Allen

BELLATOR

Belmont University men’s basketball has accepted an invitation to take part in the 2015 Legends Classic, the Gazelle Group announced Wednesday.

The Bruins, fresh off a seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 10 years, will play four games in one of the premier early-season tournaments in the country.

Belmont will open at perennial Big East power Marquette Friday, Nov. 13. The Golden Eagles, who boast eight Elite 8 appearances and the 1977 National Championship, have high expectations for 2015-16. Second-year head coach Steve Wojciechowski welcomes one of the nation’s most heralded recruiting classes, including forward Henry Ellenson, the No. 5 rated incoming freshman according to ESPN.com.

Three days later, the Bruins will head to the Grand Canyon State for the first time since the 2011 NCAA Tournament, facing Pac-12 Conference stalwart Arizona State. Like Marquette, the Sun Devils are led by a former Duke point guard, in this case newly-named head coach Bobby Hurley. Arizona State has won 59 games over the last three seasons and returns Pac-12 All Freshman selection Tra Holder.

“On behalf of our coaching staff and players, we thank the Gazelle Group and Legends Classic tournament organizers for extending this opportunity to our program,” Belmont head coach Rick Byrd said. “We are committed to offering our players memorable experiences and chances to compete at the highest level, and the Legends Classic certainly qualifies.”

As the tournament shifts into week two, Belmont will play two subregional games at Kennesaw State University, while Marquette and Arizona State join LSU and NC State in Brooklyn, N.Y. for championship round games at the Barclays Center.

Subregional games will be played Nov. 23-24 at KSU Convocation Center. Belmont will join IUPUI of the Summit League, South Alabama of the Sun Belt Conference and the host Kennesaw State Owls of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

This marks the latest in a string of early-season tournament invitations for Belmont, including the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, the EA Sports Maui Invitational, the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off, the 2K Sports Classic Benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer, and the CBE Classic.

Matchups, game times and television will be determined at a later date.

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Bradshaw named Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Bradshaw named Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Posted on 18 April 2015 by Allen

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Belmont University men’s basketball junior Craig Bradshaw (Ridgetop, Tenn.) has been named 2014-15 Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the organization announced Friday.

For Bradshaw, this comes as the latest in a long line of prestigious athletic and academic honors this season.

The 6-3 guard was named Capital One Academic All-America and Academic All-District and is on pace to earn placement on the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll for a third consecutive season.

On the court, Bradshaw established himself as one of the top perimeter players in the nation.

The Ridgetop, Tenn. native ranked among NCAA leaders in scoring, three-point field goals per game, effective field goal percentage, and steals per game. Bradshaw also ranked among OVC leaders in eight statistical categories, including third in points per game (18.3).

In addition, Bradshaw averaged 21.4 points per game over his final seven games, including an electrifying game-high 25 points in the Bruins’ NCAA Tournament near-miss against ACC Champion Virginia.

He scored 99 points in Bruin victories over Lipscomb, Denver and Ohio – including a Belmont NCAA era single-game record 42-point performance at the Bobcats that yielded multiple National Player of the Week honors.

Bradshaw has scored 1,172 points in his first three collegiate seasons, and was a Lou Henson Award Watch List honoree.

This marks the 10th time a Belmont men’s basketball player has been named to the DI-AAA ADA Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete Team in the program’s 14-year history.

This is the fourth time a Bruin has been named Scholar-Athlete of the Year; Bradshaw joins Justin Hare (2008), Mick Hedgepeth (2011), and Adam Mark (2004).

Basketball players from all Division I-AAA ADA member institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. Each of the nominees was required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletics credentials.

He must have reached junior athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution (true freshmen, red-shirt freshmen and ineligible athletics transfers are not eligible) and have completed at least three academic semesters/five quarters at the nominated institution. Nominated student-athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s games listed on the nomination form.

A special Review Committee of Division I-AAA athletics directors were responsible for selecting the winners. Completing this task were Committee Chair Tim Hall; Amanda Braun, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Don DiJulia, St. Joseph’s; Gene Doris, Fairfield; Bill Hogan, Seattle; Bill Husak, Loyola Marymount; Phillip Hutcheson, Lipscomb; Chris King, UTPA; and Jean Lenti Ponsetto, DePaul.

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Skyhawks Softball Sweeps Belmont

Skyhawks Softball Sweeps Belmont

Posted on 04 April 2015 by Allen

utm

The University of Tennessee at Martin softball team proved that its bats were packed when taking on Belmont, picking up a pair of victories behind 17 runs to earn the squad’s first Ohio Valley Conference sweep with 9-3 and 8-3 victories.

The Skyhawks (18-16, 6-5 OVC) strung together 18 hits on the day while tallying four home runs to bypass the host Bruins. Senior Kenzi Tate led the team offensively with a 6-for-7 outing, finishing the day with a .857 batting average while tallying a double, a home run and three RBIs. Fellow senior Lauren Smith made the most of her pair of starts, tallying one home run and five RBIs on the day. Joining the senior duo was freshman Jodie Duncan who tallied four hits – including a home run and five RBIs.

Both pitchers were solid as well for the Skyhawk inside the circle, finding victories from the duo of Elizabeth Wiegand and Casey Vincent on the day. Wiegand tossed seven innings while allowing eight hits and three earned runs. Vincent tossed five innings while allowing nine hits and three earned runs despite tallying four strikeouts.

Game 1: UT Martin 9, Belmont 3

UT Martin would bust out of the gates in the opening inning of the contest. Faced with two outs, the Skyhawks would tally back-to-back walks before Lauren Smith sailed a double to left center, bringing around a pair of runners to take an early 2-0 lead.

The Skyhawks would strike again in the top of the third with some familiar two-out magic. Following a pair of outs to start the inning, Tate would single to right center while Alicia Hansen tallied her second walk of the contest to put runners on first and second. Much like the first inning, Lauren Smith would empty the bases once again, this time with a three-run home run to right center.

Belmont would look to find its own type of leverage in the bottom half of the third. Faced with two outs of their own, the Bruins would find back-to-back singles to bring their first run across the plate. Another double by Kat Hollingsworth followed by a single from Chelsey Deloney brought the game to a 5-3 margin.

The Skyhawks would attempt to push the game back out to a three run margin in the top of the sixth inning.
Freshman Duncan would tally a double to right center to score pinch runner Chelsey Smith from second, giving the visitors a 6-3 lead.

The visitors would tally the knockout punch in the top of the seventh inning, putting zero doubt in the final outcome of the contest with a three-run inning. With runners on second and third, Vincent would tally a pinch-hit two-run single to left center before Duncan would strike again for her second RBI of the contest with a single to left, giving the Skyhawks their ninth and final run.

Game 2: UT Martin 8, Belmont 3 (Six innings)

Much like in Game 1, the Skyhawks would look to get on the board first in the opening inning of the second contest. Carly Gonzales would lead off the game with a single to left before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt and moving into scoring position for Tate. Tate would come through in the inning with a double to right, giving the Skyhawks a 1-0 advantage.

Belmont would strike back in the bottom of the first, taking its first lead of the game with a three run inning. Three consecutive base hits would score a run before Amy Zeronian notched the Bruins big hit of the inning with a single to center, scoring a pair of runs to take a 3-1 lead.

UT Martin would use the top of the second inning to get back in the driver’s seat as Duncan led off the inning with a opposite field home run to right. With the bases loaded and just one out, Tate would single to first, bringing Savannah Dodson in to score the second run of the inning. The Skyhawks would follow up the play with a RBI groundout from Hansen to cap off the scoring threat and retaking a 4-3 lead.

The visitors would tack on another run in the top of the fourth inning. Consecutive singles from Samantha McClure and Tate along with a walk to Lauren Smith would load the bases with just one out. Duncan would continue her hot day with a single to right, bringing pinch runner Bella Zizzi in to score the team’s fifth run of the contest.
A powerful fifth inning would cap off the scoring for both teams as the Skyhawks put the game out of reach before the rain came calling. With two outs, McClure would tally her first home run of the season with a solo blast to center. The Skyhawks would keep the train rolling with a back-to-back home run from Tate to center before three consecutive walks later in the inning brought the eighth and final run across the plate.

UT Martin will make the short trek across Nashville for its next conference matchup with a doubleheader at Tennessee State on Saturday, March 4. Action against the Tigers is scheduled to get underway at 1 p.m.

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Skyhawks top Belmont in extra innings

Skyhawks top Belmont in extra innings

Posted on 29 March 2015 by Allen

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The University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team notched its fourth straight victory this afternoon with a 5-4 walk-off victory against Ohio Valley Conference leader Belmont at Skyhawk Field.

With the win, the Skyhawks (8-16, 4-7 OVC) clinched at least a series win over Belmont for the first series win over a conference opponent since UT Martin defeated Tennessee Tech on March 23-25, 2012.

The Skyhawks were able to nab the win today behind a 10th inning double off the bat of Andrew Massey, who drove in Taylor Douglas with an opposite field shot down the right field line.

“We had an opportunity to win in extra innings,” UT Martin head coach Rick Robinson said. “That’s one of the huge advantages of playing at home. I love playing at home for the simple reason that you can give them one run when you’re up by one and still have an opportunity to win. Andrew stepped up with the clutch hit, which was one of the most clutch hits of the season because that wrapped up the series win against Belmont.”

Andrew Castillo finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle today, tallying three hits with two RBI’s and two runs scored. Taylor Douglas doubled to lead off the 10th and scored the winning run to cap off a two-hit, two-run and RBI performance. Pribble also scored a run while Fletcher Johnson came away with a multi-hit effort to lead the Skyhawks, who outhit Belmont by a 10-6 margin.

Senior right-hander Alex Martin pitched two scoreless innings to receive the win, improving to 1-3 on the season. Quinton Stevens started the game and tossed a season-high five frames, allowing three runs on only four hits. Jackson Zarubin also saw time on the mound today, accounting for three innings with zero hits allowed for UT Martin.

Belmont (12-11, 5-2 OVC) struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the first before Stevens held the Bruins off the scoreboard in the second. Belmont was able to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the third before the Skyhawks evened the score in the bottom half of the inning.

Pribble reached on an error with one out and Castillo followed with an RBI triple. Douglas then singled to make the score 3-2 and Zych would tie the game with an RBI single after Douglas stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

Stevens then took over, retiring the side in order in the fourth and holding the Bruins scoreless in his fifth and final frame.

UT Martin took its first lead of the contest in the bottom of the fifth, as Castillo connected on a one-out round tripper beyond the fence in left field to give the Skyhawks a one-run lead. It was the third homer of the season for Castillo and second in the last five days for the junior out of Kennewick, Wash.

Zarubin followed with a shutout sixth before sitting the Bruins down in order in both the seventh and eighth innings to keep the Skyhawk lead at 4-3.

Belmont tied the game in the top of the ninth but UT Martin escaped any further damage with a strikeout and caught stealing double play to end the Bruin threat.

Martin pitched through a scoreless 10th inning, thanks in large part to Castillo throwing out a baserunner trying to nab the extra base at third for the second out of the inning.

Douglas and Massey then doubled in the bottom half of the frame to give the Skyhawks the victory.

UT Martin will go for the sweep on Sunday, March 29 when they host Belmont for the series finale. The Skyhawks are expected to throw senior left-hander Carter Smith (1-3, 2.03 ERA) while Belmont’s probable starting pitcher is yet to be announced.

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Belmont tops EKU in OVC Tournament Semis

Belmont tops EKU in OVC Tournament Semis

Posted on 07 March 2015 by Allen

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Belmont University men’s basketball sophomore Evan Bradds (Jamestown, Ohio) sank two free throws with 26 seconds remaining and used a final defensive stop to outlast Eastern Kentucky, 53-52, in the semifinal round of the 2015 OVC Basketball Championship.

The game was a rematch of the 2014 OVC Championship, which saw the Colonels claim a 79-73 victory.

Eastern Kentucky entered the game tied for first in the OVC in scoring defense at 63.3 points allowed per game. Belmont was second in the conference in scoring (74.7 ppg).

Three-pointers from sophomore Taylor Barnette (Lexington, Ky.) and junior Craig Bradshaw (Ridgetop, Tenn.) sparked Belmont to an early 6-2 lead.

But as was the case in last year’s conference tournament meeting, Eastern Kentucky opened the game on a torrid pace. The Colonels made nine of their first 10 shots, and took a 20-13 lead on Deverin Muff’s jumper with 12:27 left in the half.

After sophomore Caleb Chowbay (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) helped the Bruins trim the margin to 20-18, Belmont went over six minutes without a field goal. Meanwhile, Eric Stutz capped his 6-for-6 start with a three-pointer to increase the Colonels’ lead to 29-19 at the 8:02 mark.

Senior Reece Chamberlain (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) and Paul Jackson would exchange layins before the Bruins got a huge lift off the bench from senior Holden Mobley (Nashville, Tenn.).

Mobley buried a wing three-pointer and provided an offensive rebound putback on successive possessions late in the first half to help Belmont close within 33-26 at halftime.

Belmont shot 37 percent (10-for-27) from the field in the opening 20 minutes – including 5-for-13 from three-point distance. Eastern Kentucky shot 64 percent from the field, paced by 14 points from Stutz.

Despite the tough sledding offensively, Belmont continued to fight and gained positive momentum to start the second half. A short jumper from Barnette and a three-pointer from Bradshaw closed the margn to four, 35-31, with 18:14 remaining.

But each time Belmont appeared poised for a sustained run, Eastern Kentucky would provide an answer. Five points from Corey Walden bumped the Colonel edge back to 40-33 with 15:27 left.

Belmont head coach Rick Byrd rode the toughness of Mobley and junior Jeff Laidig (Mishawake, Ind.) in the second half, and their play yielded dividends.

Belmont worked into the bonus with 11:24 left in regulation, and closed to within 44-41 on two makes from freshman Austin Luke (Rowlett, Texas).

A three-pointer from Barnette and a driving layin from Chamberlain tied the score at 46 with 9:51 to go.

The Bruins continued to clamp down defensively, but several tantalizing opportunities to seize the lead went by the boards – either from the free throw line, three-point line, or offensive rebound putbacks.

Both teams endured a lengthy field goal drought before Chamberlain again tied the score at 48 at the 6:42 mark.

Following two Stutz free throws, Eastern Kentucky forced Belmont into a scrambled offensive possession. But late in the shot clock, Chamberlain fought through a double team and found Barnette in the corner for a clutch three-pointer and a 51-50 lead with 3:42 remaining – the Bruins’ first lead since 9-8.

Timmy Knipp scored inside to put Eastern Kentucky back ahead 52-51 with 2:25 left.

From there, Barnette, Egekeze and Bradshaw would each miss promising looks, giving Eastern Kentucky a chance to push out the lead.

But Belmont continued to cobble together defensive stops and rebounds to give itself chances.

With 27 seconds left, Bradshaw rimmed out a three-point attempt, but Bradds would be fouled while securing the offensive rebound.

He calmly sank both free throws to give Belmont a 53-52 lead with 25 seconds to play.

After the Bruins called timeout to set their defensive strategy, Eastern Kentucky worked into the frontcourt and called timeout with 13 seconds left. When play resumed, the Colonels began their offensive set but didn’t like the look and called their final timeout with under six seconds remaining.

From there, Walden took the inbounds pass, drove left, but missed a floating shot with two seconds left on strong defense from Bradshaw. Freshman Amanze Egekeze (Lake in the Hills, Ill.) secured the rebound and the horn sounded to end the game.

Officials huddled momentarily to clarify if an Eastern Kentucky loose ball foul had been called with under one second remaining, but it was deemed to have come after the final horn.

All told, Belmont shot 35 percent (19-for-55) from the field – including 8-for-28 from three-point distance. Belmont outrebounded Eastern Kentucky, 37-26, and forced 13 Colonel turnovers.

Barnette led three Bruins in double figures with 14 points. Bradshaw had 12, while Chamberlain added 10 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists.

Stutz led Eastern Kentucky (19-11) with 18 points.

Belmont (21-10) will play Murray State Saturday night in the OVC Championship game. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CT from Nashville Municipal Auditorium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and the WatchESPN app. The game will also be carried nationally on Westwood One Radio.

The live play-by-play of Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network and 104.5 The Zone. In-game updates will be available on Twitter @BelmontMBB.\

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EKU Women fall at Belmont

EKU Women fall at Belmont

Posted on 26 February 2015 by Allen

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The Eastern Kentucky University women’s basketball team fell to a hot-shooting Belmont team, 84-70, on Wednesday night at the Curb Event Center.

Belmont (13-15, 10-5 OVC) shot 44 percent (11-of-25) from three-point range to earn the win. The Bruins also went 23-of-31 (72.7 percent) from the free throw line.

Junior Shameekia Murray led the way for EKU (9-16, 4-11 OVC), scoring 17 points, grabbing five rebounds and coming up with three steals. Sophomore Michaela Hunter added 13 points and a team-best eight rebounds, while junior Jasmine Henshaw came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points. Henshaw had scored 10 points five times in her career before Wednesday night.

Sierra Jones paced Belmont with a career-high 23 points, while Sally McCabe contributed a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) for the Bruins.

McCabe’s effort led Belmont to a 47-30 rebounding advantage over Eastern.

The Colonels stayed within striking distance in the first half due in large part to the long-range shooting of Murray. Murray knocked down three three-pointers in the first 20 minutes, the last of which pulled EKU to within eight, 35-27, with 47 seconds on the clock. However, Belmont’s Lauren Thompson converted a layup on Belmont’s ensuing possession to send the Bruins into the locker room at halftime up by 10, 37-27.

Belmont shot 51.9 percent (14-of-27) from the field in the first half.

The Bruins opened the second half on a 9-2 run and grabbed a 16-point advantage, 46-29, on a pair of free throws by McCabe with 17:53 left. Belmont led by double digits the rest of the way.

EKU will close out the season by hosting Tennessee Tech at McBrayer Arena on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

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Belmont falls to Eastern Illinois 84-73

Belmont falls to Eastern Illinois 84-73

Posted on 10 January 2015 by Allen

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Enduring an historically low three-point shooting game, Belmont University men’s basketball dropped an 84-73 decision at Eastern Illinois Saturday afternoon. The Bruins committed just nine turnovers in a free-flowing game, but the usually sharpshooting team could not buy a long distance shot.

Belmont – top 10 nationally in three-point field goals per game and annually one of the country’s top perimeter shooting teams – went 3-for-23 from behind the arc in the opening 20 minutes as Eastern Illinois built a 39-26 halftime lead.

The Bruins quickly sliced the deficit to eight points and had a clean three-point look from sophomore Nick Smith (Bentonville, Ark.) to get within five early in the second half, but the shot dipped out.

The host Panthers then responded with six straight points to reclaim their double figure lead.

Eastern Illinois, which entered on a six-game winning streak, continued to utilize its substitution pattern of bringing leading scorers Chris Oliver, Trae Anderson, and Reggie Smith off the bench.

Moreover, the Panthers got a huge boost from reserve guard Luke Norman. Norman, who entered with eight total points on the season, scored 10 points in 23 minutes. As more Bruin looks rimmed off, Eastern Illinois built a 64-46 lead with 8:07 left.

The Bruins got inspired play from all angles and battled within seven points twice – and had two shots to get within four late – but both rimmed off.

For the game, Belmont shot 7-for-43 from three-point distance, among its lowest three-point shooting outings since becoming an NCAA Division I member institution in 1996.

Sophomore Evan Bradds (Jamestown, Ohio) led Belmont with 16 points.

Belmont grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and forced 16 turnovers and now falls to 10-6, 2-1 OVC.

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Belmont falls at Butler

Belmont falls at Butler

Posted on 29 December 2014 by Allen

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Despite stretches of some of its finest play of the season, Belmont University men’s basketball dropped a 67-56 at Butler Sunday night.

The Bruins, playing at Hinkle Fieldhouse for the first time in 15 years, saw a familiar face in Butler interim head coach Chris Holtmann. The respected coach faced Belmont 13 times from 2002-08 during his time as an assistant coach at Gardner-Webb.

The matchup also featured two of the nation’s most successive programs on the court and in the classroom.

Butler, ranked as high as No. 15 nationally earlier this season, entered play having allowed only one opponent to eclipse 70 points or six three-point field goals in a game (Indiana).

Butler got off to an 8-3 lead on a three-pointer from Kellen Dunham and one Roosevelt Jones free throw

But after missing three of their first four shots, the Bruins quickly worked into an offensive rhythm, unleashing exquisite, unselfish play.

Consecutive three-pointers from freshman Amanze Egekeze (Lake in the Hills, Ill.) and sophomore Taylor Barnette (Lexington, Ky.) gave Belmont a 9-8 lead four minutes in.

The lead swelled to 17-10, as junior Craig Bradshaw (Ridgetop, Tenn.) delivered consecutive three-point plays followed by a gorgeous hit-ahead assist to sophomore Nick Smith (Bentonville, Ark.).

Belmont continued the momentum, parlaying defensive stops into clean looks offensively.

Three-pointers from sophomore Caleb Chowbay (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) and senior Spencer Turner (Bloomington, Ind.) increased the Belmont lead to 25-14 midway through the first half.

As murmurs grew in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Bruins maintained their poise and purpose.

However, Butler trimmed into the margin on the offensive glass, getting within 29-26 on baskets from Kameron Woods and Dunham.

After sophomore Evan Bradds (Jamestown, Ohio) stabilized the Bruins with a baseline drive, Andrew Chrabascz capped a 6-0 Bulldog run to give the hosts a 32-31 lead with 4:29 left in the half.

Belmont responded with a conventional three-point play from senior Reece Chamberlain (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) and a Barnette driving layin, but a deep Dunham three-pointer gave Butler a 39-38 lead at the half.

Belmont shot 54 percent (14-for-26) from the field in the opening 20 minutes – including 6-for-13 from three-point distance. It was a dazzling display of passing and execution, with nine different Bruins scoring in the first half.

But one category kept Belmont from enjoying a nice halftime lead: second chance points: Butler held a 14-0 edge in second chance points, negating largely quality Bruin defense.

A baseline slam from Bradds and a Smith three-pointer gave Belmont a 43-42 lead with 17:12 remaining.

But following the media timeout, consecutive three-pointers from Dunham and Alex Barlow pushed Butler to a 49-43 lead with 15:08 left.

Bradshaw answered with a corner three-pointer off a baseline out-of-bounds play, but the Bruins would then endure an eight-minute scoring drought.

Butler labored during this stretch as well, but following two missed free throws from Bradds, Tyler Wideman made a fadeaway jumpshot late in the shot clock to give the Bulldogs a 54-46 lead with 8:34 to go.

A Wideman tip-in and one Jones free throw increased Butler’s lead to 57-46 with 6:26 remaining.

In need of a spark, Barnette buried a deep three-pointer to end the dry spell. Bradds then answered with an interior basket to get the Bruins within 57-51 with 4:52 left.

After three Butler free throws, Smith ripped the nets from behind the arc to make the score 60-54 with 3:31 to go.

But after Butler got a reprieve by regaining possession on the arrow after the basketball got stuck between the backboard and the rim, Chrabascz scored inside to push the margin back to eight.

A Chamberlain layin and a defensive stop gave Belmont life with under two minutes remaining, but a promising set play for Bradshaw went by the boards as his layup attempt to cut the margin to four dipped out with 1:44 left.

A Jones layin late in the clock on the subsequent possession all but secured the outcome.

All told, Belmont shot 40 percent (21-for-52) from the field – including 10-for-26 from three-point distance. After the clinical start, the Bruins went cold, going 7-for-26 in the second half.

Bradshaw led Belmont with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. Bradds had 10 points.

Jones led Butler (10-3) with 20 points.

Belmont (8-5) returns to game action Thursday, Jan. 1 versus Southeast Missouri. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. CT from the Curb Event Center.

The game will be broadcast live on the OVC Digital Network. The live play-by-play of Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network.

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Belmont tops MTSU

Belmont tops MTSU

Posted on 03 December 2014 by Allen

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Belmont University men’s basketball defeated Middle Tennessee, 63-59, Tuesday night.

The Bruins led 36-26 at halftime and 50-34 with 12:46 remaining, before a 15-3 Blue Raider run trimmed the margin to 53-49.

Middle Tennessee, which made went just 5-for-42 from three-point distance to start the season, went a season-high 10-for-23 from behind the arc to close within one point three times in the final five minutes.

But a clutch reverse layin from sophomore Evan Bradds (Jamestown, Ohio) gave Belmont a 60-57 lead with 1:03 left and the Bruins would close the game out from the free throw line.

The Bruins have won seven of the last eight meetings with Middle Tennessee.

Bradds and Nick Smith led Belmont (7-1) with 15 points each.

Belmont has won 59 of its last 61 home games.

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Belmont’s Bradshaw garners honors after big week

Belmont’s Bradshaw garners honors after big week

Posted on 01 December 2014 by Allen

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Belmont University men’s basketball junior Craig Bradshaw (Ridgetop, Tenn.) received several Player of the Week awards Monday.

The Ridgetop, Tenn. native was named adidas OVC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week by the league office and National Player of the Week by ESPN.com (Dick Vitale), NBCSports.com (Rob Dauster) and MidMajorMadness.com (Benjamin Miraski).

Bradshaw was also named National Player of the Day Saturday by CBSSports.com (Matt Norlander) and SI.com.

For the week, the 6-3 guard averaged 33.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game as Belmont earned victories over Lipscomb, Denver, and Ohio.

The junior scored a career-high and Belmont NCAA Division I era record 42 points – including the game-winning basket with 0.2 seconds remaining – as the Bruins defeated Ohio, 83-81, Nov. 29. He went 14-for-22 from the floor, 8-for-12 from three-point distance, and 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

Bradshaw’s 42-point performance is the NCAA Division I single-game scoring high this season.

Bradshaw had established a new career-high earlier in the week when he tallied 29 points, five rebounds and four assists against Lipscomb Nov. 24. He also had 28 points and four rebounds against Denver Nov. 26.

He currently leads the OVC and ranks seventh nationally in scoring at 22.3 points per game.

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Bradshaw has a career night in win over Ohio

Bradshaw has a career night in win over Ohio

Posted on 30 November 2014 by Allen

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Belmont University men’s basketball junior Craig Bradshaw (Ridgetop, Tenn.) scored a Belmont NCAA Division I era 42 points, including the game-winning basket with 0.2 seconds remaining, as the Bruins defeated Ohio, 83-81, Saturday night.

In a highly-entertaining, back-and-forth contest, Bradshaw scored from all angles, going 14-for-22 from the field, and 8-for-12 from three-point distance.

Belmont led by 11 points early, but Ohio got great shooting from Javares Willis and Stevie Taylor to battle back.

Trailing 79-78 late, sophomore Nick Smith (Bentonville, Ark.) drilled a baseline three-pointer with 34 seconds remaining to put Belmont back ahead.

After a defensive stop, senior Holden Mobley (Nashville, Tenn.) made one of two free throws with 17 seconds left before Willis scored a driving layin to tie the game at 81 with seven seconds left.

Bradshaw proceeded to make a floating bank shot with 0.2 to win it.

Belmont is 6-1 and will host MTSU on Tuesday at the Curb Center..

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Scores

Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24

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