Belmont-Eastern Illinois Game Preview

Belmont-Eastern Illinois Game Preview

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

Belmont defeated SIU Edwardsville, 76-61, Thursday. Senior Amanze Egekeze (Lake in the Hills, Ill.) scored a game-high 29 points for the Bruins. Egekeze has 53 career double figure scoring games and ranks third in the OVC in scoring (17.9) and 3-point field goals per game (2.9).

Egekeze, who went over 1,000 career points Dec. 16 vs. Pepperdine, is a native of Lake in the Hills, Illinois.

Junior Kevin McClain (Jennings, Fla.) continued his fine play with 10 points, 11 rebounds and six assists Thursday at SIU Edwardsville. McClain is averaging 12.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in OVC play.

Senior Austin Luke (Rowlett, Texas), the nation's leading returning assist man, ranks 10th in the NCAA in assists per game (6.9). He tallied nine points and nine assists in last year's meeting vs. Eastern Illinois.

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. The Bruins went on to defeat Eastern Kentucky and Murray State to reach the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

With the OVC expanding to an 18-game conference schedule, this marks the first time Belmont and Eastern Illinois will place twice in the same regular season.

This marks the ninth meeting between Belmont and Eastern Illinois.

Tip-off is set for 3:15 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on OVC Digital Network. The live play-by-play of the Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network. In-game updates will be available via Twitter @BelmontMBB.

Belmont at Eastern Illinois Game Notes