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Hot Hand Luke

Hot Hand Luke

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Senior Austin Luke (Rowlett, Texas) scored a career-high 26 points to lead Belmont University men's basketball past Seattle, 90-77, Sunday afternoon in the championship game of the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project Nashville Subregional.

Luke, the nation's leading returning assist man, erupted for 8-for-10 3-point shooting as the Bruins completed an historic week of victories over Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee, Houston Baptist and the visiting Redhawks.

Belmont has won 93 of its last 99 home games.

A 3-pointer from senior Amanze Egekeze (Lake in the Hills, Ill.) and a driving basket from junior Kevin McClain (Jennings, Fla.) gave Belmont a 20-14 lead midway through the first half.

After Egekeze picked up his second personal foul, Jordan Hill capped a 10-0 Seattle run to give the visitors a 32-28 lead.

But the Bruins closed the half strong, getting timely contributions off the bench from sophomore Michael Benkert (Greenwood, Ind.), senior Tyler Hadden (Cincinnati, Ohio) and freshman Caleb Hollander (Nashville, Tenn.) to lead 41-36 at halftime.

Belmont shot 56 percent (15-for-27) from the field in the opening 20 minutes - including 7-for-14 from 3-point distance.

Egekeze led Belmont with 10 first half points.

Baskets from juniors Mack Mercer (Plymouth, Ind.) and McClain increased the margin to nine, 45-36, one minute into the second half.

Seattle closed within 54-51 on a Josh Hearlihy basket, before Belmont responded with a series of game-changing plays.

A blocked shot from junior Dylan Windler (Indianapolid, Ind.) sparked a Bruin run-out and conventional 3-point play from McClain.

After a defensive stop, Luke followed with a deep, end-of-shot-clock 3-pointer to stretch the margin to nine.

Hadden capped the 9-0 Belmont run with a determined slam and conventional 3-point play.

Two more Luke 3-pointers and a putback slam from Egekeze gave Belmont an 81-62 lead with 4:25 remaining.

All told, Belmont shot 59 percent (32-for-54) from the field - including 14-for-27 from 3-point distance.

Luke led four Bruins in double figures with his career-high 26 points. Egekeze added 19 points and six rebounds. McClain had 15, while Mercer added a season-high 11.

Windler had 14 rebounds - his fifth straight double figure rebound total and three blocked shots.

Morgan Means, Jordan Hill, and Matej Kavas each had 15 points for Seattle (2-3).

Belmont (4-1) returns to game action Wednesday, Nov. 22 at Providence. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on FS1 and the Fox Sports Go app. 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: McClain was named tournament MVP, while Windler was named all-tournament team ... Belmont has now won an MTE tournament five times since 2010-11; (2017 2K Classic, 2015 Legends Classic, 2013 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff, 2011 Maui Invitational, 2010 NIT Season Tip-Off) ... Windler's 60 rebounds are the most through the first five games of a season for any Belmont NCAA Division I player ... Egekeze has scored in double figures in seven consecutive games, dating back to the Bruins' NIT victory over Georgia ... Benkert scored five points, his most vs. an NCAA Division I opponent ... Belmont outscored Seattle, 36-28, in the paint.

2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project Nashville Subregional All-Tournament Team
Kevin McClain (Belmont) - Tournament MVP
Dylan Windler (Belmont)
Jordan Hill (Seattle)
Corey Allen (Detroit Mercy)
Josh Ibarra (Houston Baptist)