Belmont men’s basketball team opened the season with an 85-76 loss to the University of Tennessee as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off. After trailing by 17 with 7:01 in the second half, the Bruins fought back. With 36.6 seconds remaining, junior center Mick Hedgepeth had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line, but couldn’t cash in. The Bruins won their next three games in the NIT Season Tip-Off. They beat Arkansas State 93-60 in Knoxville before traveling to Winston Salem, N.C. to dismantle Marist 102-74. On Nov. 23, the Bruins extended their post-UT win streak to three with a 71-44 victory over Winthrop. The men’s team faces Mercer at 7:15 tonight in Curb.
Lady Bruins first-year head coach Brittney Ezell won her first game against Winthrop, 59-50, in the Winthrop Classic in Rock Hill, S.C. Belmont dropped its second game against Central Michigan, 102-71. Freshman guard Molly Ernst led the Bruins with 14 in the win and 20 in the loss. The Lady Bruins returned to the Curb Event Center on Nov. 17 against Tennessee-Martin. Belmont lost 73-52 in Ezell’s first home game. On Nov. 21, last year’s leading scorer, Haley Nelson, returned to the lineup against Tennessee Tech. She scored 18 points, but that wasn’t enough to overcome an undefeated Tech squad as the Bruins fell 61-56. But the Bruins followed that up with a 78-73 road win at Central Arkansas. Home games coming up are Mercer, 5 p.m. today; TSU, Tuesday, Dec. 7; and Kennesaw State, Thursday, Dec. 16.