February 23, 2012

Men's Basketball Defeats Kennesaw State; Secures Outright Atlantic Sun Regular Season Championship

KENNESAW, Ga. - - Behind impressive defense and rebounding and balanced scoring, Belmont men's basketball defeated Kennesaw State, 90-50, Thursday night to secure an Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship.

Though Kennesaw State had taken their last four opponents to the wire, the Bruins, who clicnhed at least a share of the conference regular season championship Monday, took little time in seizing command.

Senior Drew Hanlen (St. Louis, Mo.) capped a 17-0 Belmont run midway through the first half to give the Bruins a 28-6 lead with 8:03 left in the first half.

The senior post duo of Mick Hedgepeth (Crossville, Ala.) and Scott Saunders (New Orleans, La.) combined to score 20 first half points as Belmont led 46-15 at halftime.

The Bruins shot 59 percent from the field in the first half - including 6-for-12 from three-point distance. Belmont held Kennesaw State to 6-for-27 shooting while committing only three turnovers.

Belmont got solid play across the board, as junior Adam Barnes (Clarksville, Tenn.) and freshman Reece Chamberlain (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) excelled in extended minutes.

All told, Belmont shot 61 percent (34-for-56) from the field - including 11-for-20 from three-point distance. All 13 Bruins who played scored in the game.

Markeith Cummings and Mirza Sabic each scored 15 points for Kennesaw State (3-27, 0-17 Atlantic Sun).

The Bruins have won three consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championships and five in the last seven years.

Belmont (23-7, 15-2 Atlantic Sun) returns to action Saturday, Feb. 25 at Mercer. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. CT.

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. Live video streaming will be available via ASun.TV.