The men’s basketball team completely shut down High Point in a 90-51 win Monday night at the Curb Event Center.
The Bruins had the game in complete control, leading 30-8 with 7:48 to go in the first half. Belmont’s offense proved again to be extremely efficient, shooting 49 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc.
Sophomores Nick Muszynski and Adam Kunkel both scored 14 points in the Bruins win. Muszynski scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half where he thrived in the paint per usual. Kunkel is coming off a career high 35-point game against Boston College on Saturday but still added another stellar game to add to his resume.
But what’s keeping the Bruins’ offense together during their three-game win streak is sophomore Grayson Murphy. Murphy only scored 6 points against High Point, but rebounded nine, assisted six and had three steals. He is adding so much to both sides of the court for the Bruins and stands out as a difference maker even though he isn’t scoring the most points. Murphy is coming off an impressive first season and shows no signs of slowing down.
Grayson Murphy scored 6 points and rebounded nine against the Panthers
“I’m just trying to make plays for our team to win,” said Murphy. “Whether it’s rebounding or assisting, I’m not trying to hunt points out here, I’m just trying to make my team better.”
Alongside Murphy handling the ball well was junior Nick Hopkins, who dropped 13 points and went 3-6 from the 3-point line with only 16 minutes off the bench.
The Bruins shared most of the scoring in the first half, taking advantage of the Panthers’ poor shooting and slow offense. High Point only shot 23 percent from the field and went 2-8 from the 3-point line.
The Panthers did come out in the second half almost doubling their scoring from the first half, but it was not enough to catch up as the Bruins continued to pile it on.
Sophomore Caleb Hollander had a standout game, hitting his season-high 8 points in 14 minutes.
Belmont’s freshmen showed off a little against High Point as EJ Bellinger scored 9 points and rebound four in only 7 minutes of play. We saw Ben Sheppard play a hefty 21 minutes off the bench and score 4 and rebound four.
The Bruins improve to 3-1 on the season as the will head down the street on Wednesday to face Lipscomb in the Battle of the Boulevard. It will be one of the most highly anticipated match-ups between the two teams as it will be the first time Casey Alexander will face Lipscomb since leaving to coach the Bruins back in April.
The Bisons lost major players last season including current NBA player Garrison Mathews and Kenny Cooper who transferred to Western Kentucky. Lipscomb is struggling this season, with a record of 1-3 but Alexander knows that they will be coming for a fight.
“They are very different. A lot of new parts in a completely new offense,” said Alexander. “It will be important for us defensively to go in there and take them off rhythm.”
After Belmont’s game at Lipscomb on Wednesday, the Bruins will play three straight games on the road. First at Saint Louis University on Saturday, then Eastern Washington on Nov. 26 and then at Middle Tennessee Nov. 30.
Photos by Colby Crosby and Bronte Lebo.