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Belmont-Eastern Illinois Game Preview

Belmont-Eastern Illinois Game Preview

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball returns to game action Thursday vs. Eastern Illinois.

Belmont defeated austin Peay, 83-59, Jan. 20. Junior Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.) scored a career-high 31 points for the Bruins. The 6-7 swingman was named National Player of the Week and OVC Player of the Week based on his play in victories over Murray State and Austin Peay. Windler currently ranks third in the OVC in scoring (17.4) and first in rebounding (9.0).

Senior Amanze Egekeze (Lake in the Hills, Ill.) recorded his 55th career double figure scoring game vs. Austin Peay. The 6-8 forward ranks among OVC leaders in eight statistical categories, including fourth in scoring (16.6) and third in made 3-point field goals (58).

Senior Austin Luke (Rowlett, Texas) had a game-high 10 assists vs. Austin Peay. Luke, the nation's leading returning assist man, has 34 career games of eight or more assists. He ranks ninth nationally in assists per game (7.2).

Junior Kevin McClain (Jennings, Fla.) has 14 double figure scoring games this season, including 12 points last time out. In fact, McClain and Windler are two of only three OVC backcourt players currently averaging at least 12.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in league games (Denzel Mahoney, SEMO).

Junior Mack Mercer (Plymouth, Ind.) provided outstanding production off the bench last week, averaging 12.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Mercer had 15 points and seven rebounds vs. Murray State. The 6-9 forward has scored multiple baskets in seven of his last nine games.

Belmont delivered one of its finest performances of the NCAA Division I era vs. Eastern Illinois in the 2015 OVC Tournament Quarterfinal, opening the game on a 15-0 run, shooting 62 percent from the field - including 16-for-27 from 3-point distance - en route to a 97-64 victory.

With the OVC expanding to an 18-game conference schedule, this marks the first time Belmont and Eastern Illinois will place twice in the same regular season.

This marks the 10th meeting between Belmont and Eastern Illinois. Belmont won, 75-66, Jan. 13 in Charleston, Illinois.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. from the Curb Event Center. The game will be broadcast on OVC Digital Network. The live play-by-play of the Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network. In-game updates will be available via Twitter @BelmontMBB.

Eastern Illinois at Belmont Game Notes