The Belmont Bruins hosted Round two of the Battle of the Boulevard as they hosted the Lipscomb Bison at the Curb Event Center. And even though it was a tough battle, the Bruins were able to prevail 76-74, sweeping the Battle of the Boulevard for this year.
Both teams would struggle shooting in the first half at times and that would lead to a back and forth game in the first half. In the first six and a half minutes, the Bruins and Bison would trade makes and misses, being tied at 7-7 around the 14:28 mark.
From there, reserve wing player Michael Benkert would come in and give the Bruins six quick points made six quick points, while Lipscomb would keep pace, again tying the game, this time at 13-13 with 11:59 left in the first half.
Both teams would continue to go on runs back and forth all the way until halftime, where the Bruins would trail the Bisons 35-33.
The two stars in this game, Lipscomb's Garrett Matthews and Belmont's Dylan Windler, were very quiet in the first half uncharacteristically. Windler would only have two points while Matthews would have five points.
After the half, freshman Grayson Murphy would lead the charge out of half with five quick points. The Bruins would lead 47-46 at the 16:51 moment in the game. The Bruins and the Bisons, led by Rob Marberry's 22 second half-points, would hang in the game all the way until the end.
But in the last 45 seconds, the Bruins would make the play to win the game while Lipscomb would not. After forcing a turnover, the Bruins would move the basketball until it got in the hands of Caleb Hollander. The freshman would shot fake and drive to the rim, hitting a floater in the lane to give Belmont a 76-74 lead.
Lipscomb had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Nathan Moran would miss a three to win the game and the Bruins would escape.
When asked about the three-pointer at the buzzer and the feeling he had, Windler definitely was feeling a certain way as he saw the basketball in the air, "They got a good shot off with .8 second left. I was standing right under the rim and I thought it was going in the whole way. Fortunate that it did not go in, but kudos to them for getting a really good shot off."
Windler would finish with 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds and freshman big man Nick Musynski would finish the game with 19 points, eleven rebounds and four blocks for the Bruins.
Rob Marberry would score 22 points in the second half on his way to 26 points for the game. As for star player Garrett Matthews, the senior guard would only score five points in the entire game, not even scoring after halftime.
The Bruins next take on the UCLA Bruins out in California December 15th.
Full press conference from Dylan Windler and Caleb Hollander here:
Full press conference from Belmont head coach Rick Byrd here:
(Photo credit: Morgan McDaniel)