In front of the third largest crowd in Curb Event Center history, Belmont Basketball showcased its deep bench and intestinal fortitude in grinding out a hard earned 74-65 victory over Lipscomb Friday night.
The 122nd installment of the ‘Battle of the Boulevard’ series was expected to be an uptempo affair with vast perimeter talent on both sides and on the heels of a double overtime classic waged on Jan. 12 which saw Belmont claim a 99-91 victory.
However, early on, the Bruins’ shooting touch was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Lipscomb made its first three shots from the floor. When Eddie Ard sank a short jumper in front of the Bruin bench to give the Bisons a 7-0 lead two minutes in, Belmont head coach Rick Byrd called a quick timeout.
Though senior Justin Hare (Cleveland, Tenn.) supplied a three-pointer out of the timeout to get Belmont on the board, the frigid long range shooting continued. In fact, two driving layups from junior Alex Renfroe (Hermitage, Tenn.) would represent Belmont’s lone field goals over a 10 minute span.
A Brandon Brown layin put Lipscomb ahead 19-9 midway through the first half, bringing cheers from the Bisons’ contingent. Trailing 21-11 with 6:14 in the half, the Bruins mustered a late charge. Spurred by lively team defense and huge bench contributions, Belmont turned the tide.
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