NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Behind strong defense and 16 three-point field goals, Belmont University men's basketball defeated Lipscomb, 87-62, Monday evening.
Seething from a hard-to-swallow last second loss at Wright State Friday, the Bruins came out purposeful and determined by scoring 19 of the game's first 24 points.
But after holding Lipscomb to one made field goal over the first five and a half minutes, the Bisons eventually found their range a bit, closing within 24-16 on a Josh Williams basket.
The Bruins answered with a convincing 10-0 run over the next five minutes, highlighted by three-pointers from sophomore Taylor Barnette (Lexington, Ky.) and freshman Amanze Egekeze (Lake in the Hills, Ill.).
Belmont got a great lift from its bench, as senior Spencer Turner (Bloomington, Ind.), sophomore Nick Smith (Bentonville, Ark.) and sophomore Caleb Chowbay (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.), among others, contributed immediately upon entry.
Williams scored six straight points late in the half, and after two driving baskets from junior Craig Bradshaw (Ridgetop, Tenn.), Nathan Moran sank a wing three-pointer to close the hosts within 11, 48-37, at halftime.
Belmont shot 55 percent (18-for-33) from the field in the opening 20 minutes – including 9-for-19 from three-point distance.
The Bruins also committed only six first half turnovers.
Barnette and Bradshaw continued their torrid pace, teaming up to score Belmont's first 10 points of the second half. A conventional three-point play from sophomore Evan Bradds (Jamestown, Ohio) and a layin from Smith pushed the lead to 63-43 with 15:44 left.
Lipscomb inched within 14 points, before senior Holden Mobley (Nashville, Tenn.) and Smith buried consecutive shots from behind the arc in reply.
With Chamberlain's hard-nosed play leading the charge, Belmont continued to challenge Bison passes and shot attempts.
Some unfortunate decision-making and risky passes down the stretch aside, Belmont completed a workmanlike performance.
All told, the Bruins shot 58 percent (33-for-57) from the field – including 16-for-33 from three-point distance. Belmont handed out 23 assists on 33 made field goals, and outrebounded Lipscomb by nine, 41-32.
Bradshaw led three Bruins in double figures with 22 points and a career-high eight assists. Barnette added a career-high 17 points and five rebounds, while Smith scored a career-high 13.
Chamberlain added eight points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Williams led Lipscomb with 13 points.
Belmont (1-1) returns to game action Wednesday, Nov. 19 versus Trevecca Nazarene. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. from the Curb Event Center.
Students are encouraged to arrive early and gather in the Beaman Student Life Center for 'First on the Floor' festivities prior to the game.
The game will be broadcast live on the OVC Digital Network. The live play-by-play of Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network. In-game updates will be provided on Twitter @BelmontMBB.