Bruins rout Redhawks 107-72 in OVC home opener
For the Belmont Bruins, the final of the Ohio Valley Conference home opener against Southeast Missouri was all about the records.
The 107-72 rollover win against the Redhawks broke the record for most points scored by the Bruins in the Curb Event Center, plus it was first game in the team’s NCAA era to have two players reach the 30-point mark.
Senior forward Trevor Noack scored a career-high 30 points and Ian Clark, a senior guard, had his second 30 point game of the year.
“This was the best performance of Trevor’s career. He’s embraced the opportunity that when we had Scott Saunders and Mick Hedgepeth, he didn’t have,” said head coach Rick Byrd.
Noack also had seven rebounds on the night.
“We knew Trevor could play like this all along, and he’s having a great year and we’re going to keep riding,” Clark said.
Clark started off hot by scoring 10 points in the first four minutes of the game to help Belmont jump out to a 13-7 lead.
“Ian Clark’s beginning of the game was inspirational to our team, I thought,” Byrd said.
The all-cylinders running momentum carried into the Bruins’ defense which forced repeated Redhawks’ turnovers. SEMO had 20 forced turnovers for the night.
“We came out and had a lot of fire and intensity on the defensive end and that gave us a lot of momentum,” Clark said.
Senior Brandon Baker sank back to back baskets to help extend Belmont’s lead to 19-9 with just under 12 minutes to go in the first half.
The Bruins accumulated 16 points in the paint alone as the first half neared the seven-minute mark.
Closing out the half, Belmont finished a 27-18 scoring run with Noack leading the charge with 17 points.
Senior Kerron Johnson started the Belmont offensive effort in the second half with six straight points to push the lead to 60-34.
That effort would continue through the rest of the game with Spencer Turner sinking the last shot of the game, giving Belmont the new record for points per game at the Curb Event Center (107). The record was previously 106.
The Bruins cruised easily to victory with a shooting percentage of 62 percent for the night, going 40-for-45 from the field and 11-for-23 behind the arch.
“Our offense is so good, I think we just let it come,” Clark said.
Belmont continues OVC play when it plays host to UT Martin on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.