The Belmont men’s basketball team secured the regular season champion title with a blow out win against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles.
After dominating the Ohio Valley Conference, the Bruins have earned their seventh regular season title in the last nine years. With tonight’s win, they have also earned a No. 1 seed in the OVC Tournament where they plan to earn redemption after being snubbed by COVID-19 following their conference championship win.
On his would-be senior night, redshirt junior Nick Muszynski led his team to victory with a game-high 19 points going 7-13 from the field.
Following suit was freshman JaCobi Wood, who put up 15 off the bench going 5-9, and sophomore Ben Sheppard, who put up 11 going 5-10.
The Bruins faced contention early, as Tech began their efforts to be the one team that defeats Belmont in 20 games. However, Belmont came to the court ready.
Belmont took the win by committee approach early to start the half, after the first 15 points were put up by six different Bruins. Smith led the group with five of their tally to make their lead 15-13 byt the mid way point in the half.
Coming out of the second media timeout, the Bruins go on their first run of the game, hitting four of their next five shots. The run was led by Wood after he put up five inside their 7-0 run, helping the Bruins to extend their lead to 24-13.
The Bruins continued to outscore the Golden Eagles together as a team, with each player working to their strengths making the lead 38-24. Along with efficient offense, the Brins brought impressive defense to the floor. Holding the Golden Eagles to nearly commit shot clock violations with every possession.
Belmont’s work ethic on both ends of the floor held tech to a 2:30 minute scoring drought to end the half, earning an extensive lead of 42-26 at half time.
Wood led the team in scoring off the bench with 10 points going 3-6 from the field. As a team, the Bruins shot 47 percent from the field and 29 percent from behind the arc.
To start the half, juniors Muszynski, Caleb Hollander and Grayson Murphy exploded for the Bruins’ next 11 points, hitting five straight shots in a row to make their lead 53-32.
Each of the juniors hustled extremely hard, grabbing offensive rebounds and diving to loose balls to make the most of every minute on the floor.
The Bruins continued to go on a wildly entertaining 11-1 run, including a disrespectful fast-break dunk that sent the small crowd inside the Curb Event Center on their feet as their lead lengthened to 30 at 78-48.
Belmont maintained their stark momentum for the rest of the game, giving the Golden Eagles no chance of coming back. The final game of the season in the Curb ended the only way fit for this Belmont team, a 90-66 blowout victory.
Collectively, the Bruins improved immensely since the last game. Shooting 49 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the arc.
Next, the Bruins will conclude their regular season on the Road in rematches against Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State respectively. They take on Eastern Kentucky on Feb. 25 — tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
This article written by Julieann Challacombe.