Belmont University men’s basketball led from start to finish in defeating SIU Edwardsville, 94-75, Wednesday night.
The Bruins raced out to a 15-4 lead in the first five minutes, and forced the talented Cougars into contested shots and turnovers early.
Late in the first half, senior J.J. Mann (Smyrna, Ga.) took the offensive torch, scoring in a variety of ways to push the Bruin lead to double figures.
A putback basket from freshman Nick Smith (Bentonville, Ark.) gave Belmont a 48-32 halftime lead.
Mann had 19 first half points.
After SIU Edwardsville closed to within 10 early in the second half, Smith drained three consecutive three-pointers to increase the Belmont lead to 67-48 with 11:42 left.
From there, the all-around play of junior Reece Chamberlain (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) and the inside play of freshman Evan Bradds (Jamestown, Ohio) kept the Cougars from getting any closer than 13.
Mann led four Bruins in double figures with 25 points and six rebounds. Bradds scored a career-high 20 points on 10-for-11 shooting, while Chamberlain added 18 points, six rebounds and nine assists.
Smith had 11.
Tim Johnson led SIU Edwardsville (11-18, 7-8 OVC) with 18 points.
Belmont (22-8, 13-2 OVC) returns to game action Saturday, Mar. 1 at Jacksonville State. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. CT.
The game will be broadcast on the OVC Digital Network. The live play-by-play of Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network and 104.5 The Zone.
Recap provided by Belmont Athletics