Boulevard Blues

Boulevard Blues

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball dropped a 69-54 decision at Lipscomb Monday night.

After winning an NCAA Division I era record 11 straight in the series heading into the season, the Bruins endured another cold shooting night against the Bisons.

Belmont went without a field goal the opening 4:55 of the game before a score from junior Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.).

But a conventional 3-point play from Garrison Mathews gave Lipscomb an 18-5 edge nine minutes in.

From there, Belmont held the Bisons scoreless for eight straight minutes, pulling within 18-17 on a layin from sophomore Seth Adelsperger (Peru, Ind.).

Yet just when the Bruins appeared settled in and poised to push ahead, Lipscomb closed the half on a 10-3 run.

A steal and score from Michael Buckland sent the Bisons to the locker room up eight, 28-20, at halftime.

Belmont shot 32 percent (8-for-25) from the field in the opening 20 minutes - including 3-for-15 from 3-point distance. 

And in a virtual replication of the game one week ago at the Curb Event Center, Lipscomb went on a big run to open the second half.

A George Brammeier basket made the score 36-20 with 16:09 left.

Bench contributions from junior Mack Mercer (Plymouth, Ind.) helped Belmont work back into the game, and a 3-pointer from senior Amanze Egekeze (Lake in the Hills, Ill.) trimmed the margin to eight, 36-28, with 13:07 left.

But turnovers plagued the Bruins all night long, as Lipscomb answered each Belmont charge.

One Andrew Fleming free throw made the score 50-32 with 8:51 left.

Windler and junior Kevin McClain (Jennings, Fla.) got Belmont within 55-47 with 5:56 remaining, but a Rob Marberry putback and six points from Garrison Mathews all but secured the outcome.

All told, Belmont shot 34 percent (18-for-53) from the field - including a 6-for-31 from 3-point distance. The Bruins committed a season-high 21 turnovers, which led to 22 Lipscomb points.

McClain led three Bruins in double figures with 14 points. Mercer had 13, and Windler scored 12.

Mathews led Lipscomb (6-3) with 26 points.

Following semester exams, Belmont (5-5) returns to game action Wednesday, Dec. 13 vs. Milwaukee. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. CT from the Curb Event Center. The game will be broadcast on 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 available via Twitter @BelmontMBB.