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Belmont easily topped Denver in an early afternoon game in Nashville. Our initial reactions:


Even after quick start — until the final four minutes: Denver’s kids didn’t wake up until 1:15, and by then it was too late. Belmont jumped out to a 17-4 lead early. Denver pulled it back to single digits a few times, but never really threatened the Bruins. Belmont went on another run in the final four minutes to put it out of reach.

Barnette is the new J.J. Mann: A step too far, too early? Maybe. But Taylor Barnette is just a sophomore after transferring from Virginia — and if the first six games are any indication, that means two and half more seasons of solid three-point shooting. The guard hit 5-11 on the game, and is 23-44 (52.3%) on the season from three-point range. He hit 43% as a freshman at Virginia, so this isn’t exactly unprecedented. But he’s going to be a nightmare for guards to defend in the OVC.

Free-throw resurgence: The Bruins have uncharacteristically struggled from the free-throw line this season, hitting just 65% coming into today’s game. It wasn’t a problem this afternoon. Belmont hit 29-32 from the charity stripe, which was a good spark for an offense that never fully woke.

One-and-done: Neither team shot the ball particularly well, especially in the first half, and neither team crashed the glass; Belmont and Denver combined for 13 offensive rebounds.

Two-man game: It was all about Craig Bradshaw and Barnette. The two combined for 49 of the Bruins 48 points. No other Bruin scored more than eight points.

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OVC Ball
Compiling all OVC non-conference games

2016 Football Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 7-0 10-2
UT Martin 6-2 7-5
Tennessee Tech 5-3 5-6
Tennessee State 4-3 7-4
Eastern Illinois 4-4 6-5
Murray State 4-4 4-7
SEMO 3-5 3-8
Eastern Kentucky 2-6 3-8
Austin Peay 0-8 0-11

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall


Belmont 15-1 23-7
Morehead State 10-6 14-16
Jacksonville State 9-7 20-15
Tennessee State 8-8 17-13
Tennessee Tech 8-8 12-20
Eastern Kentucky 5-11 12-19


UT Martin 10-6 22-13
SEMO 9-7 15-18
Murray State 8-8 16-17
Austin Peay 7-9 11-19
Eastern Illinois 6-10 14-15
SIUE 1-15 6-24