Moments define legacies. In a fierce rivalry that began in 1953, the Belmont and Lipscomb men’s basketball programs are no strangers to each other on the court. But in that long history, two games launched the real start of the intensity: Belmont’s 1989 upset of Lipscomb and the 1990 Memorial Gym game. During a period of NAIA domination by the Don Meyer-led Lipscomb Bisons, Belmont was the little brother overshadowed by a program that ESPN columnist and longtime baseball writ
Disregard Lipscomb’s so-called inexperience, and Belmont’s undefeated record in Atlantic Sun play. Part one of this year’s Battle of the Boulevard was just that—a battle where the Belmont Bruins would fall to their cross-town rival 85-74 in front of a crowd of 5,227 at the Curb on Friday night. “We lost our composure from the beginning. We should have been the team playing with composure and I didn’t feel like we did 40 minutes worth really,” said Belmont head coach Rick Byrd
In the last few minutes of Belmont’s blowout win over Jacksonville, sophomore point guard Kerron Johnson bobbed his head, clapped his hands, and licked his lips as he squared up on defense after another Belmont score. Johnson, who led Belmont with 15 points, embodied the persona of what Belmont head coach Rick Byrd calls the most competitive team he’s ever coached. “They are really having fun playing the game and how we’ve been playing and how hard we are playing,” Byrd said.