As we all know so well, signature wins are important when it comes to seeding teams in March. It’s not just about who you’ve lost to, it’s about who you’ve beat. Belmont already had one signature win: on the road against Pac-12 Stanford. Tonight, they just got their second.
Kerron Johnson leads the way with 17 points, as the Bruins knock off a top-50 RPI ranked team in dominating fashion, 64-49. The Bruins as a team hit 50% from the field, and hold the Blue Raiders to just 29% shooting in the win.
Middle Tennessee led much of the first half, before an 8-2 run by Belmont to end the first put the Bruins up four at the break. A 10-1 run to open the second half would break the game open, as the Bruins defense held Middle Tennessee to just one field goal in the first six and a half minutes of the second half. The Blue Raiders hit just 22% from the field in the final 20 minutes, as Belmont shot 15-27 to close out the win on their home court.
Ian Clark added 15 points in the win, and Blake Jenkins also finished in double-digits with 11. No Blue Raider finished with more than nine points on the night.
It’s hard to imagine that Middle Tennessee will remain a top-50 RPI team throughout the season, but in March this win could easily be a top-100 win for the Bruins, their second of the year.
The Bruins pulled away despite just 4-16 shooting from behind the arc, their worst three-point shooting performance of the season.