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Men’s basketball falls to Murray State in OVC Championship round

The Belmont men’s basketball team ended it’s OVC tournament run Saturday night with a crushing 68-51 loss to the No.1 seed Murray State.

OVC Final Men's Basketball vs Murray State 2018

The Bruins struggled to find the basket from the start of the game, putting up just nine points to the Racers 20 in the first 12 minutes of play.

The Bruins were able to rally to a 32-29 lead over the Racers to close the first half, and kept the score tight for much of the second.

But with seven minutes left in the game, Murray State went on a 31-10 scoring spree, ending the Bruins shot at a championship title.

Junior Kevin McClain, who entered Saturday’s game following an injury that took him out of the second half of Friday’s, led the Bruins with 17 points.

But senior Amanze Egekeze, coming off Friday’s career-high nine three-pointers, went 2-12 and earned only seven points.

Senior Austin Luke also had a difficult night, putting up just eight points and going 3-10.

Head coach Rick Byrd said the team’s struggle with shooting cost them.

“If we’re not knocking threes down, then we’re not going to beat a whole lot of good teams,” he said. “[Murray State] had plenty to do with it, but we also just couldn’t have our shooting night.”

After a fantastic conference record for the season. Byrd said he’s disappointed with the end result.

“For this team to end up going 15-3 in the league was great,” he said. “So for this team to not have something to hang its hat on, a championship, I’m disappointed for the kids, I’m disappointed for the program, I’m disappointed for Austin and Amanze.”

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This article written by Zach Gilchriest. Photos by Carina Eudy and Zach Gilchriest. 

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