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Big Game Player

Big Game Player

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball senior Kevin McClain (Jennings, Fla.) has been named OVC Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.

The 6-3 guard averaged 19.5 points and 3.0 assists per game this past week as Belmont earned victories at Murray State and at Austin Peay.

But stats only tell part of the story as McClain's clutch plays down the stretch of both games led the way for Belmont. The senior scored 16 of his game-high 23 points at Murray State in the second half.

He also took a lead role in Belmont's team defensive effort that held Murray State to a season-low 32 percent shooting and held Wooden Award candidate Ja Morant to 5-for-19 from the field.

Two days later, McClain had 16 points at Austin Peay, including six points in the final 3:17 of regulation. McClain scored the eventual go-ahead basket with 1:25 remaining, then moments later, added a steal and transition assist to Nick Hopkins for a 3-pointer that increased the margin to five points.

The Jennings, Florida native went over 1,000 career points in the victory, becoming the 19th member of Belmont's NCAA Division I era 1,000 point club.

McClain is averaging 17.6 points and 4.7 assists per game over his last 11 games.

He posted 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals in Belmont's 74-72 victory at 11-time National Champion UCLA, scoring the game-winning basket with 2.3 seconds remaining.

McClain has 50 career double figure scoring games and ranks among OVC leaders in five statistical categories, including eighth in points per game (15.1) and fourth in assists per game (4.2).

He was named Preseason All-OVC Oct. 23.

McClain was also named OVC Player of the Week Dec. 17.

Belmont (15-4) returns to game action Jan. 31 vs. Southeast Missouri. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT from the Curb Event Center.

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.