Belmont-Lipscomb Game Preview

Belmont-Lipscomb Game Preview

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball returns to game action Monday vs. Lipscomb. The Bruins shouldered a heartbreaking 66-65 setback at Providence Nov. 22. Junior Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.) appeared to give Belmont victory with 3.8 seconds left, only to have Kyron Cartwright sink an off-balance 3-pointer for the Friars at the buzzer. 

Windler has recorded double-doubles in five of the Bruins' first six games of the season, ranking among NCAA leaders in rebounding and field goal percentage.

Senior Amanze Egekeze (Lake in the Hills, Ill.) has continued his fine play, recording double figure scoring in nine straight games, dating back to March.

Belmont head coach Rick Byrd and Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander have a bond that dates back to the early 90's. Alexander, a product of nearby Brentwood Academy, played point guard for Byrd at Belmont from 1991-95. He won 119 games as a player and helped lead Belmont to the top of the NAIA. As a senior in 1994-95, Alexander directed the then-Rebels to a 37-2 record, a No. 1 national ranking, and an appearance in the NAIA National Semifinals. From there, he spent 16 seasons as a part of Byrd's coaching staff. Belmont won 287 games with Alexander on staff. More specifically, over Alexander's final eight sea- sons, the Bruins tallied 172 victories, six postseason appearances (four NCAA Tournament, one NIT, one CollegeInsider.com), four Atlantic Sun regular season championships, four Atlantic Sun tournament titles, a remarkable 132-41 record in Atlantic Sun play, and road victories over Missouri, Alabama, and Cincinnati.

This marks the 11th time Byrd and Alexander have coached against each other, which includes two games in the 2011-12 season when Alexander was at Stetson.

Lipscomb associate head coach Roger Idstrom was a member of Belmont's staff from 2000-11. 

Belmont associate head coach Brian Ayers played for Don Meyer at Lipscomb from 1989-93. Ayers coached with Alexander at Belmont from 1998-2011 and Idstrom from 2000-11.

Lipscomb assistant coach Steve Drabyn was an All-Atlantic Sun guard for Belmont from 2000-04. Drabyn led the nation in field goal percentage in 2003, and ranks ninth on the Bruins' NCAA era career scoring list with 1,237 points. Drabyn was recently inducted into the Belmont University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Belmont and Lipscomb have a combined five members in the NAIA Hall of Fame (Belmont: Rick Byrd, Joe Behling; Lipscomb: Don Meyer, Philip Hutcheson, John Pierce). 

Lipscomb junior Rob Marberry was recruited heavily by Coach Byrd at Belmont. He attended Belmont camps and pickup games, before ultimately committing to Western Kentucky University. Last season, he tied Evan Bradds' Curb Event Center record by going 11-for-11 from the field.

This marks the 141st meeting between Belmont and Lipscomb. The Franklin American Mortgage Battle of the Boulevard series dates back to 1953, with Lipscomb holding a 73-67 series lead. Belmont holds a 20-9 series lead in the NCAA Division I era of the rivalry (2004-present). Belmont has won the last 11 meetings.

The 2016-17 meetings were among the most dramatic and memorable finishes in Battle of the Boulevard series history. Nov. 29, 2017, Evan Bradds threw a length-of-the-floor pass to Dylan Windler who scored with 0.8 seconds left to give Belmont a 64-62 win. One week later, Taylor Barnette made a 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left in overtime to give Belmont a 78-76 victory. Both finishes made ESPN SportsCenter.

Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on OVC Digital Network. The live play-by-play of Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network. In-game updates will be available via Twitter @BelmontMBB.

NOTES: The game has been designated as the First on the Floor game; students should touch base with David Fish and athletic marketing representatives in advance of the game ... Belmont young alumni are encouraged to take advantage of ticket discounts HERE ... Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher is expected to make an announcement during the game regarding progress towards the university's 300-million-dollar fundraising campaign.

Lipscomb at Belmont Game Notes