Strong First Half Carries Bruins Past Campbell
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Behind more strong defense and unselfish play, Belmont men's basketball defeated Campbell, 90-55, Saturday night.
Praise of the Bruins' readiness to play, relentless defense, and tough rebounding have been commonplace throughout this season, and this game would be no exception.
Campbell led 3-2 56 seconds in, on a three-pointer from Lorne Merthie. But afer senior Jon House (Guelph, Ont., Canada) replied with an interior basket moments later, Belmont never turned back.
As has been the case virtually the entire season, Belmont used tenacious pressure defense to force the opposition into difficult, contested shots or turnovers.
After Martell Jackson made the score 16-8, Clark, Hedgepeth and Bruin defense highlighted a spirited 18-0 run over the next seven and a half minutes.
Clark had eight points during the run, including consecutive three-pointers in an 18 second span.
A layin from Eric Griffin ended a nine and a half minute Camel stretch without a field goal.
A three-pointer from senior Jordan Campbell (Indianapolis, Ind.) and another Clark basket helped Belmont take a 45-14 halftime lead.
Belmont shot 55 percent (17-for-31) from the field in the opening 20 minutes - including 5-for-10 from three-point distance. Moreover, the Bruins held Campbell to 5-for-24 shooting while forcing 15 first half turnovers.
Clark led Belmont with 17 points in the first half.
More solid defense and the strong interior play of Hedgepeth and junior Scott Saunders (New Orleans, La.) characterized the second half.
Another three-pointer from Jordan Campbell capped a 16-4 run to open the second half, giving the Bruins a 61-18 lead with 14:01 left.
Junior Drew Hanlen (St. Louis, Mo.) and sophomore Kerron Johnson (Huntsville, Ala.) kept the Bruins organized and focused, while freshman J.J. Mann and sophomore Brandon Baker (Milford, Ohio) provided numerous hustle plays and offensive rebound baskets.
All told, Belmont shot 53 percent (33-for-62) from the field - including 9-for-20 from three-point distance. The Bruins had 21 assists on their 33 made field goals, while committing just nine turnovers - one off the team's season-low of eight turnovers against Marist Nov. 22.
Belmont forced 23 Camel turnovers.
Clark led four Bruins in double figures with a season-high 20 points and five assists. Hedgepeth and Saunders each scored 16 points. Mann added 10.
Rico Ferguson and Cole Dewey each scored 11 points for Campbell (9-7, 3-4 Atlantic Sun).
Belmont (16-3, 8-0 Atlantic Sun) returns to action Friday, Jan. 21 at USC Upstate. Tip-off is set for 6pm CT.
The live play-by-play of Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network. Live video streaming will be available via ASun.TV.