Eastern Illinois Game Preview

Eastern Illinois Game Preview

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball returns to game action Thursday vs. Eastern Illinois.

The Bruins defeated Tennessee Tech, 93-65, Feb. 16. Senior All-America candidate Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored a game-high 21 points for Belmont. The 6-8 guard/forward ranks among national leaders in defensive rebounding and double-doubles, and is averaging 27.4 points and 12.7 rebounds per game over his last seven games. Windler currently ranks among OVC leaders in 11 statistical categories, including first in rebounds per game (10.4) and third in points per game (20.8). He is the only player in America averaging at least 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

Windler averaged 26.5 points per game in two meetings vs. Eastern Illinois last season.

Senior Kevin McClain (Jennings, Fla.) has matched Windler with impressive production and consistency on both ends of the floor. The 6-3 guard has posted 22 double figure scoring games, including 11 straight games of 10 or more points. McClain is averaging 18.7 points and 4.2 assists per game in OVC play. The Jennings, Florida native had a game-high 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals - and hit the game-winning shot with 2.3 seconds remaining - in Belmont's victory at UCLA.

Freshman Nick Muszynski (Pickerington, Ohio) continues to provide a quality inside presence for the Bruins. The 6-11 center has tallied 19 double figure scoring games, while handing out three or more assists in 13 games. Muszynski ranks among national leaders in field goal percentage (.600) and blocked shots per game (2.24).

Belmont delivered one of its finest performances of the NCAA Division I era vs. Eastern Illinois in the 2015 OVC Tournament Quarterfinal, opening the game on a 15-0 run, shooting 62 percent from the field - including 16-for-27 from 3-point distance - en route to a 97-64 victory.

This marks the 11th meeting between Belmont and Eastern Illinois.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT from the Curb Event Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ 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.
 
As a reminder to those planning to attend the remaining home basketball dates this season, Bernard Avenue and the 6th floor entrance to the Curb Garage are currently closed. Those who plan to park in the Curb Garage will need to access it via the 3rd floor entrance off 15th Avenue—please be patient as we expect traffic into and out of the garage to take more time. Fans are encouraged to park in the Johnson Center or Baskin Center.
 
 
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.