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53


Belmont (22-8) at Jacksonville State (10-20)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 5:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Pete Mathews Coliseum (5,500) -- Jacksonville, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: Belmont 12-1, JSU 7-5. Away Record: Belmont 8-7, JSU 2-14. Neutral Record: Belmont 2-0, JSU 1-1. Conference Record: Belmont 13-2, JSU 4-11. Series Record: Belmont leads, 5-3.

GAME NOTES: In the final regular-season game for both clubs, the streaking Belmont Bruins take to the road to battle the reeling Jacksonville State Gamecocks, in Ohio Valley Conference action on Saturday evening at Pete Mathews Coliseum.

Belmont has won five straight and 10 of its last 11 games overall. They downed SIUE on Wednesday night, 94-75 on the road. The Bruins have clinched the East Division title and are still battling West Division champion Murray State for the regular-season title and the top seed in the upcoming conference tournament.

JSU has lost seven in a row, including to Tennessee Tech on the road last Saturday, 69-57. The Gamecocks sit in fifth place in the East, and have been eliminated from postseason play.

This marks the ninth meeting between Belmont and Jacksonville State all-time. The Bruins hold a 5-3 lead in the series, which dates back to December of 2000. The two teams met four times as members of the Atlantic Sun Conference (2001-03). Belmont won both encounters last year and the only other meeting this season, a 78-67 decision at home on Jan. 2.

J.J. Mann scored a game-high 25 points, as Belmont made easy work of the SIU Edwardsville Cougars the last time out. Evan Bradds had 20 points on 10-of-11 shooting for the Bruins, who extended their winning streak to five games. Reece Chamberlain netted 18 points and handed out nine assists, and Nick Smith chipped in 11 points in 11 minutes off the bench.

On the season, the Bruins are shooting an impressive 50.2 percent from the field, which ranks second in the country. The efficient shooting has led them to the second-best scoring average in the OVC (80.4 ppg). Mann (18.4 ppg) and Craig Bradshaw (15.7 ppg) lead the way, with Mann ranking fifth in the league in scoring. Providing added scoring depth are Reece Chamberlain (11.3 ppg, 5.4 apg) and Drew Windler (10.1 ppg), although the former makes more of an impact as a passer, ranking fourth in the OVC in assists.

Brian Williams scored 13 points to lead the Gamecocks in their recent loss to Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagles shot an impressive 51.6 percent from the field in the first half. Trailing by five early in the frame, Tech went on a 14-2 run to take control of the game and went into halftime with a 37-22 advantage. JSU struggled from the floor in the opening period, hitting just 34.5 percent of its field goal tries, including a meager 2-of-10 from beyond the arc and never made a run after halftime.

Hampered by a sprained ankle recently, Williams (11.0 ppg) is one of only two double-digit scorers on the roster. That puts a lot of pressure on Rackley (13.2 ppg), who already struggles to score with any degree of efficiency. He is connecting on just under 40 percent of his total shots. With so few offensive options, the Gamecocks are last in the OVC in scoring (65.4 ppg). However, they are stingy at the defensive end, holding teams to a league-best 70 ppg.

The Bruins are clearly the better team in this matchup, and they will use their multitude of offensive weapons to end the regular season with a road victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Belmont 77, Jacksonville State 63

03/01 10:32:34 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
 
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
Final
ARI 4
ASU 0
 
Final
CLE 110
BOS 79
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
NYK 86
SAC 124
Final
ATL 104
HOU 96
Final
MEM 82
UTA 93
Final
CHI 97
WAS 92
Final
DEN 106
MIL 95
 
Final
UMO 70
AKR 63
 
Final
NAVY 56
ARMY 52
 
Final
BST 60
EMICH 67
 
Final
BUT 54
GEOR 60
Final
IND 63
IOWA 77
Final
FLGC 81
JVU 63
 
Final
USCU 90
KNST 54
 
Final
BGU 80
KSU 81
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 73
LIP 76
 
Final
HC 62
GHND 45
 
Final
RUTG 50
MD 60
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
BUF 93
OHIO 66
 
Final
ALA 74
MISS 82
Final
DAY 75
RIU 59
Final
CMICH 85
TOL 77
 
Final
DET 77
YOUNG 67
Final
UNF 81
STET 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 83
HOUB 71
 
Final
NDAK 78
NEOM 80
 
Final
NILL 65
WMICH 63
 
Final
ILLCH 60
WRST 57
Final
MIZZ 63
AUB 61
Final
UGA 64
KENT 72
 
Final
NW 82
MICH 78
 
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
 
Final
UF 66
TEXAM 62
 
1st OT
KU 68
WVU 66
 
2nd
CREI 72
VILL 75
 
Final
PHI 2
CAL 3
Final
NJD 3
NAS 1
Final
CLB 3
WAS 5
Final
TAM 3
BUF 0
Final
FLA 2
TOR 3
Final
MIN 3
OTT 2
Final
DAL 3
NYI 2
Final
ARI 1
ANA 4
2nd
VAN 2
SJS 4