NASHVILLE, Tenn.- The Belmont University men's basketball team (5-3) defeated Lipscomb (3-6) 105-89, Tuesday evening at the Curb Event Center, as the program scored over 100 points for the 16th time in its NCAA history.
Taylor Barnette (Lexington, Ky.) was one of five Bruins in double figures, and paced the Bruins with a season-high 22 points, including a season-high six 3 pointers. Evan Bradds (Jamestown, Ohio) and Craig Bradshaw (Ridgetop, Tenn.) also recorded impressive performances, as they scored 19 and 20 points respectively. Bradds grabbed 12 rebounds to register his second double double of the year.
After holding a 48-45 edge at the half, the Bruins stormed out of the gate in half number two with a 10-2 run. The stretch, highlighted by 3 pointers from Barnette and Amanze Egekeze (Lake in the Hills, Ill.), forced Lipscomb to take a timeout. Belmont would stretch its lead back to double digits, as it came out hot from beyond the arc, netting 3-of-4 from long distance before the first media timeout of the half. The Bruins would not look back as they led by as many as 18 points in the second half, in what was an exciting 40 minutes of basketball in the Battle of the Boulevard.
BU finished shooting 59.3% from the field, along with 51.6% from 3 point land.
The Bruins' bench play was a key factor as their reserves scored 33 points. Freshman Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.) provided a 13 point, 8 rebound effort, and Mack Mercer (Plymouth, Ind.) scored 11 points in 12 minutes.
After trailing early, 12-7, BU utilized an 11-0 run to jump ahead of the Bisons. Bradshaw scored with a deep transition 3 pointer, much to the delight of the Belmont faithful, to give the Bruins a 15-12 lead. Windler capped off the run with a 3 pointer of his own. A 20-5 run by Belmont over five minute stretch midway throug the half helped the home team grab the momentum and ignite the crowd.
Lipscomb would battle back, and employ a late run of its own and cut the deficit to three, as Belmont led 48-45 at the intermission. Bradshaw finished the half with 15 points, scoring all of his points on five 3-pointers. Bradds joined Bradshaw in double figures with ten, and collected seven rebounds and dished out four assists in the game's first 20 minutes. BU led for 14 minutes of the first half while Lipscomb led for four minutes.
BU finished the first half shooting 62%, the highest mark in a first half since its home opener against Western Kentucky. Lipscomb finished shooting 48.3% from the field. It was truly an up and down game with no shortage of offense.
Tuesday's matchup marked the 137th meeting between Belmont and Lipscomb. Belmont has now won the last eight meetings.
Lipscomb saw three players tally double digits, and Josh Williams led that group with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field.
The Bruins were happy to return to the Curb Event Center after nearly two weeks without playing at home.
Belmont faces a quick turnaround as it heads to Valparaiso, Thursday evening. Tip off at Valpo is set for 7 p.m. CT.