Updated: Oct 3, 2022
The men’s basketball team opened up Ohio Valley Conference play with a 79-69 loss against Southern Illinois Edwardsville on Thursday night.
An unanticipated loss for the Bruins, having defeated the SIUE Cougars in their previous eight matchups.
The game started out in close margins, with a 30-38 Bruin lead at the end of the first half. But after poor shooting and a lack of presence in the paint, the Bruins fell short. Belmont was outrebounded by the Cougars 46-35 and hit its season-low of 8-36 on 3-point shooting.
SIUE managed to net three consecutive 3-point shots in less than a minute, putting the Cougars ahead on the scoreboard. With under 10 minutes left in the second half, the Bruins trailed the Cougars 70-63.
But after a Nick Musynzki three, the Bruins found themselves closing in on a four-point margin of 73-69 during the second half. With a combination of SIUE netting free throws and Belmont missing shots from behind the three-point line, the Bruins were unable to regain the lead.
Musynziki led the Bruins, netting a total of 15 points and eight rebounds for Belmont. Sophomores Adam Kunkel and Grayson Murphy scored 12 points and 11 points respectively. Kunkel would score a majority of the points from the free throw line as he went 2-11 from the field and 1-6 from behind the arc.
Thursday’s loss places Belmont third to last in the OVC standings as well as falling to a record of 9-5.
The Bruins will host the Eastern Illinois on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Curb Event Center to finish up the opening week of conference play.
Article written by Marissa Avnaim. Photos by Bronte Lebo.