NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Behind an NCAA Division I era single-game record 20 3-point field goals, Belmont University men's basketball defeated Tennessee State, 84-59, Saturday.
Belmont's quartet of seniors - Austin Luke, Amanze Egekeze, Tyler Hadden, and Burton Sampson - combined on 12 of the 20 3-pointers, with Sampson's trey with 1:47 left eclipsing the previous Bruin record of 19, set twice.
Beyond that, the Bruins showcased strong, unified team defense, limiting Tennessee State to two made field goals in the first 8:35 of the game.
Three lightning quick 3-pointers from Windler - the middle of which was completed as a four-point play - pushed the Belmont lead to 27-14 at the 6:54 mark.
Egekeze added a pair of makes from beyond the arc to increase the margin to 16, before the final sequence of the first half.
Following a basket from Delano Spencer, Luke buried a 75-footer before the horn, sending the packed Curb Event Center crowd into a frenzy.
Belmont led 43-28 at halftime.
BUZZER BEATER! Luke gets nothin but net after heaving one from TSU's three-point line as the clock expires!! ���� pic.twitter.com/dafpWe9C1y— Belmont Basketball (@BelmontMBB) February 25, 2018
Belmont shot 56 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes - including 12-for-21 from 3-point distance.
Windler led Belmont with 15 first half points.
The Bruins continued to share the basketball and spread the floor in the second half.
A steal and slam from McClain opened second half scoring.
After Spencer got Tennessee State within 45-32 with 18:17 remaining, the Bruins went on an 11-2 run.
All five starters had a hand in the scoring, as Windler's 3-pointer made the score 56-34 with 13:11 left.
Two more treys from Luke and one from Windler gave Belmont 18 3-pointers - a Curb Event Center record - midway through the second half, and a 68-38 lead.
Coach Byrd was able to substitute for his four seniors in the final moments, allowing each to show his own appreciate to the Belmont faithful.
All told, Belmont shot 57 percent (30-for-53) from the field - including 20-for-38 from 3-point distance.
Windler continued his impressive campaign, leading five Bruins in double figures with 21 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. Egekeze had 16 points and seven rebounds. Hadden tallied 15 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots, while McClain added 12 points and a career-high seven assists.
Luke had 11 points and six assists.
Spencer led Tennessee State (15-14, 10-8 OVC) with 23 points.
Belmont (23-8, 15-3 OVC) has earned the No. 2 seed in the 2018 OVC Basketball Championship, and will face either Austin Peay, Tennessee State or Eastern Illinois Friday, March 2 in the OVC semifinal round. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU and the ESPN app. 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 available via Twitter @BelmontMBB.
NOTES: The previous Belmont NCAA Division I era single-game record for 3-pointers was 19 (at Valparaiso, 1/10/00 and at Troy, 12/2/04) ... Hadden recorded his sixth double figure scoring game in OVC play this season ... Belmont outrebounded Tennessee State, 36-33 ... The announced crowd of 5,074 is the fourth-largest crowd in Curb Event Center history ... Windler tallied his 14th double-double this season; three shy of the Belmont NCAA Division I era single-season record of 17 (Adam Sonn, 2003) ... Windler has 961 career points ... Luke has 660 career assists; 39 shy of the all-time OVC career assist record (Bruce Jones, Eastern Kentucky) ... Belmont's four seniors went 31-2 in OVC home games ... Belmont has won nine consecutive Senior Day games ... Belmont's women's basketball program was honored during a timeout of the first half.