It was a fantastic night to be one of the handful of Belmont Bruins fans at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, CA on Sunday. As the Cardinal players, coaches, and fans grew subsequently confused, frustrated, and angry when the Bruins refused to relinquish their double-digit advantage through much of middle section of the contest, there was a growing sense among the red and blue faithful that we weren’t just playing the better game—we were the better team. Read the rest of this entry »
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As Ian Clark iced his ankle at the end of the bench, Adam Barnes took the floor with the rest of the usual starters; Johnson, Hedgepeth, Hanlen, and Jenkins.
With Kerron’s back spasms worrying Bruin fans and Jenkins’ sitting out last game as well, a very unsettling feeling made its way over me before the game started.
But it seemed to be business as usual for the Bruins. Up by 15 at one point, the lead felt like it would get away from Jacksonville, but the Dolphins kept battling the Ian Clark-less Bruins. Shooting 35% from the 3, the Bruins delivered a nail-biting game in the last 10 minutes. Cutting the lead to just 7 with five minutes left, the Dolphins proved they would not go away, but Kerron’s clutch three-point basket at 4:21 started to squelch the momentum. Johnson ultimately showered 19 points against the tricky Jacksonville defense as Belmont got its win, 76-62.
But the game just looked sloppy overall to the avid Bruin fan. The score simply did not equal the true feel of the game. While only 10 turnovers were committed by Belmont, the sloppiness came in the stat-line of 23-58 from the field. Thankfully, our consistency came from the foul line. The Bruins got there 31 times and made 24. Scott Saunders scored 8 of his 18 points from that line and we doubled their offensive rebounds.
After the game, Associate Head Coach Brian Ayers spoke with Kevin Ingram from the Bruin Sports Network, “We did enough to win. The bad turnovers and decision making is something we have to correct if we want to win on Saturday.” He also spoke about the multiple defenses Johnson faced throughout the game. ”You have got to give Jacksonville a lot of credit. They mixed their defenses up. Triangle 2, zone, man- but with a guy like Kerron who can beat his man, it was good to get him back in there. But it was tough without Ian. “
Kerron also talked about his clutch three-pointer at the end of the game. ”Alot of my shots had been going in and out, but teamates kept saying keep trying… and I stepped up and made a shot when I had to.” He also spoke about Ian Clark’s absence. ”Everybody knew we had to step up our game… it was a big loss for us. We are hoping he gets better.”
Belmont will play University of North Florida or East Tennessee State University on Friday. Tip-off will be at 6 ET.