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Up and Adam

Up and Adam

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - Belmont University men's basketball defeated Samford, 95-63, Monday night from the Curb Event Center.

Sophomore Adam Kunkel (Hebron, Ky.) scored a career-high 28 points on 10-for-14 shooting as Belmont made 16 3-point field goals on the game.

A boisterous Belmont student section cheered approval as Kunkel poured in 13 points in the first six minutes of the game to lead the Bruins to a 20-8 advantage.

As Kunkel's electric offensive display continued, backcourt mate sophomore Grayson Murphy (Franklin, Tenn.) imposed his will with relentless rebounding, defensive pressure and unselfish play.

Consecutive Murphy steals led to fast break assists to sophomore Tate Pierson (Brentwood, Tenn.) and freshman Ben Sheppard (Atlanta, Ga.) as the Belmont lead grew to 46-26 with 1:26 left in the half.

Murphy capped the first half with a near-halfcourt buzzer beater to give Belmont a 49-30 halftime lead.

Belmont shot 49 percent (19-for-39) from the field in the opening 20 minutes - including 10-for-23 from 3-point distance. 

Five points from grad student Tyler Scanlon (Centreville, Va.) stretched the margin to 56-36 with 16:26 left.

Balanced scoring and purposeful play continued for Belmont, with sophomore Nick Muszynski (Pickerington, Ohio) scoring a wing 3-pointer and a slam in succession to make the score 84-53 with 6:17 remaining.

All told, Belmont shot 50 percent (34-for-68) from the field and forced 20 Samford turnovers.

Kunkel led three Bruins in double figures with 28 points.

Muszynski added 15 points and four blocked shots while Scanlon had 14.

All 13 Bruins who played in the game scored.

Robert Allen led Samford (1-2) with 20 points.

Head coach Casey Alexander earned his first victory on the Belmont sidelines.

Belmont has won 114 of its last 123 home games.

Belmont returns to game action Saturday, Nov. 16 at Boston College. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on ACC 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: Belmont recognized service members prior to the game in honor of Veterans Day, as part of Belmont's commitment to military appreciation year round ... Murphy tied his career-high in steals (5, vs. Middle Tennessee, 11/12/18) ... Belmont outscored Samford, 33-20, in bench points ... Belmont handed out 24 assists on 34 made field goals ... Pierson tied his career-high with eight points ... Belmont has won nine consecutive meetings with Samford ... Belmont also honored public address announcer Peter Powell for 25 years of service and the OVC Champion Belmont women's soccer team.