A double-digit win streak granted the Belmont men’s basketball team national attention in recent weeks – and it’s about time.
Dating back to early December, the Bruins are on a 13 game hot streak, putting the team in contention on the mid-major poll with schools such as nationally-ranked Gonzaga University. After rising from 12th to fifth in the nation, the Bruins have earned the recognition they deserve by the Associated Press poll committee.
Belmont received nine votes in the latest AP Top 25 Poll. The AP Poll, which releases each Monday, includes the Top 25 rankings as well as other teams who received points.
Previously, the team received five points in the AP national rankings and two points in the Ferris Mowers Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll for the week of Jan. 18.
“We all recognize the honor that comes from national attention,” head coach Casey Alexander said in an email, “But we’re only in the middle of our season and have a long way to go.”
Recently, the Bruins beat Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in a record-setting fashion, 114-62. The win marked the largest margin of victory at the Curb Event Center in program history. It also marked the most points scored by Belmont in an Ohio Valley Conference game.
Prior to that, Belmont beat Eastern Illinois University on Thursday, Jan. 21.
Now, the Bruins boast a 16-1 overall record on the season. The team has won half its games by at least a 10-point margin.
Undefeated in conference play so far this year, the Bruins look to continue their winning streak.
The only loss of the season came against Samford University on Dec. 5 at home, 96-83.
The Bulldogs put up more threes and posted more rebounds than the Bruins. They led at the half and didn’t relinquish their lead.
Even with a loss on their stat sheet, the Bruins lead the Ohio Valley Conference by two wins.
Eastern Kentucky University trails closely behind.
With each passing week, the team continues to establish itself as contenders. With 10 games left, the Bruins have plenty of time to move up in the rankings and grow their lead in the OVC.
The Bruins received AP Poll votes before this season but the restrictions that accompany the COVID-19 pandemic make this year feel very different.
Belmont’s ability to win games as frequently as they do launches them into rare territory, but with more than a month to play the Bruins aren’t focused on getting votes, they’re focused on winning championships.
This article written by Sarah Maninger.