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JSU Game Preview

JSU Game Preview

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball returns to game action Thursday at Jacksonville State.

The Bruins set numerous records in defeating Eastern Kentucky, 109-93, Jan. 12. Belmont tied a Curb Event Center record with 64 first-half points, handing out 17 assists on 22 made field goals in the opening 20 minutes. 

Senior Kevin McClain (Jennings, Fla.) scored a career-high 28 points, adding five rebounds and six assists. The 6-3 guard ranks among OVC leaders in six statistical categories and has 46 career double figure scoring games to his credit.

Senior Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.) had 20 of his 23 points in the first half vs. Eastern Kentucky, adding 10 rebounds for his 24th career double-double. The 6-8 guard/forward leads the OVC in rebounding (9.0) and ranks third in scoring (18.7).

Windler and McClain, and Jacksonville State's Jason Burnell and Christian Cunningham were named Preseason All-OVC.

Freshman Nick Muszynski (Pickerington, Ohio) averaged 17.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this past week en route to his third OVC Freshman of the Week award of the season. The 6-11 center leads the OVC and ranks 14th nationally in blocked shots per game (2.47).

Belmont head coach Rick Byrd and Jacksonville State head coach Ray Harper are in select company, standing as two of only seven active NCAA Division I head coaches outside the power conferences to have won at least two-thirds of their career games, along with Mark Few (Gonzaga), Dave Rose (BYU), Tim Cluess (Iona), Randy Bennett (St. Mary's (CA), and Jim Hayford (Seattle).

Belmont has strong ties to the state of Alabama; including all-time greats Kerron Johnson (Huntsville) and Mick Hedgepeth (Crossville) and assistant coaches James Strong (Huntsville) and Tyler Holloway (Decatur).

This marks the 20th meeting between Belmont and Jacksonville State.

Tip-off is set for 7:15 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and the ESPN app. The live play-by-play can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network. Live in-game updates will be available via Twitter @BelmontMBB.
Belmont University men's basketball has earned postseason invitations 12 of the last 13 seasons, including seven automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have won 16 conference championships since 2006 - third-most nationally over that span (Gonzaga, Kansas). Belmont is one of only six NCAA Division I programs outside the Power 5 to post Top 100 RPIs eight consecutive seasons (BYU, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's (CA), San Diego State, Wichita State). Belmont is one of only nine NCAA Division I programs to win 19 or more games 13 consecutive seasons (BYU, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, San Diego State). Belmont University men's basketball boasts an NCAA-leading 16 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections since 2001 and is one of only three NCAA Division I programs to make the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Honor Roll every year of existence.