Saunders’ double-double leads Belmont to victory
On Thursday night, Belmont showed a strength against Austin Peay it had been lacking in the past few games- strong rebounding and hard, efficient, under-the-basket play. Scott Saunders recorded 23 points and had 11 rebounds, leading Belmont’s win and snapping their two game losing streak.
With J.J. Mann only playing 21 minutes and scoring six, the perimeter was handled by Hanlen, Clark, and Johnson all scoring over 10 points each. The focus was Saunders. And Saunders performed.
While Austin Peay has only won 3 games and really cannot be considered a top opponent in the Ohio Valley Conference, this was an important win for Belmont as far as the strategy Coach Byrd laid out and the Bruins executed. If you read my last article after the loss at Marshall, I highlighted the importance of Belmont’s game below the basket, and how it was lacking.
The only confusion I take away from this game is that we were still out-rebounded 33-32 by Austin Peay. Saunders dominated when he got the rebound, but the untold story here was his success at the foul line (he went 9-12 there).
While no game is ever perfect, and the lack of rebounding domination may be something I should stop harping on and realize we are just not that kind of team, Saunders’ smart, physical, and efficient play is something we need to see in the rest of the games this season to be able to win.
Still out-rebounded 33-32.
3P%- 35.3. We are still outside the top 150 in this percentage.