Lipscomb Game Preview

Lipscomb Game Preview

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball returns to game action Tuesday vs. Lipscomb.

The Bruins, one of the nation's select teams to complete an undefeated November, dropped their first game of the season Saturday, a 100-92 decision at Green Bay. Belmont owned a +25 points in the paint advantage and committed only 12 turnovers in a high-possession game.

Senior All-America candidate Dylan Windler (Indianapolis, Ind.) led four Bruins in double figures with 31 points and 12 rebounds. In fact, all three of Windler's double-doubles this season have come in 30-point performances.

The Belmont-Lipscomb game features 12 players from the middle Tennessee area, six from each team. Belmont's area players are Michael Mayernick (CPA), Grayson Murphy (Independence), Caleb Hollander (Nashville Central Christian), Nick Hopkins (Fayetteville), Tate Pierson and Garrett Suedekum (Brentwood Academy).

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 seasons, 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 14th time Byrd and Alexander have coached against each other, which includes two games in the 2011-12 season when Alexander was at Stetson.
 
Belmont and Lipscomb combined to place four players on the NABC All-District teams in 2017-18 (Belmont: Dylan Windler, Amanze Egekeze; Lipscomb: Rob Marberry, Garrison Mathews).
 
Belmont forward Caleb Hollander and Lipscomb guard Kenny Cooper were AAU teammates on the Nashville Celtics.
 
The Bruins and Bisons met once in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, with Belmont claiming a 74-69 overtime victory in the 2006 Atlantic Sun Championship game in Johnson City, Tennessee. Belmont's Justin Hare ('06) scored a career-high 32 points en route to Tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
 
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 Roger Idstrom from 2000-11.
 
Lipscomb associate head coach Roger Idstrom was a member of Belmont's staff from 2000-11.
 
Lipscomb assistant coach Steve Drabyn was an All-Atlantic Sun guard for Belmont from 2000-04. Drabyn led the nation in free throw percentage in 2003, and ranks ninth on the Bruins' NCAA era career scoring list with 1,237 points. Drabyn was 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).
 
This marks the 144th meeting between Belmont and Lipscomb. The Battle of the Boulevard series dates back to 1953, with Lipscomb holding a 75-68 series lead. Belmont holds a 21-11 series lead in the NCAA Division I era of the rivalry (2004-present). Belmont won, 87-83, at Lipscomb earlier this season.
 
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT from the Curb Event Center. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and the ESPN app. The live play-by-play of Voice of the Bruins Kevin Ingram can be heard on the Bruin Sports Network and the Belmont Gameday app. Live in-game updates will be available via Twitter @BelmontMBB.
 
Belmont fans are encouraged to wear RED to the game; the first 3,500 fans will receive a Belmont Basketball Code RED T-Shirt courtesy of Pepsi.
 
 
Belmont University men's basketball has earned postseason invitations 12 of the last 13 seasons, including seven automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have won 16 conference championships since 2006 - third-most nationally over that span (Gonzaga, Kansas). Belmont is one of only six NCAA Division I programs outside the Power 5 to post Top 100 RPIs eight consecutive seasons (BYU, Gonzaga, Saint Mary's (CA), San Diego State, Wichita State). Belmont is one of only nine NCAA Division I programs to win 19 or more games 13 consecutive seasons (BYU, Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, San Diego State). Belmont University men's basketball boasts an NCAA-leading 16 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections since 2001 and is one of only three NCAA Division I programs to make the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Honor Roll every year of existence.
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