Belmont punches ticket to the Dance
Johnson City, TN (Sports Network) - Justin Hare netted 32 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field as the Belmont Bruins defeated the Lipscomb Bisons, 74-69, in overtime, at the Memorial Center to capture their first-ever Atlantic Sun Tournament Championship.
Josh Goodwin, Brian Collins and Andrew Preston each contributed 10 points for second-seeded Belmont (20-10). Boomer Herndon added eight points and seven rebounds for the Bruins, who will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Eddie Ard led Lipscomb (21-10) with 19 points as the top-seeded Bisons saw a four-game winning streak come to an end. James Poindexter and LaKory Daniels scored 13 points apiece in the loss.
Belmont kicked off the extra session with a 10-5 run to take a 68-63 lead. Hare netted four points during the stretch.
A three-pointer by Poindexter pulled Lipscomb within two points at 68-66 with 1:13 remaining on the clock.
With a little over 30 seconds left, Brian Fisk fouled Hare and he hit two from the charity stripe. At the other end, Poindexter missed a mid-range jumper and Herndon pulled down the rebound with 24 seconds to go. Trey Williams fouled Herndon, but he missed his shot from the line and Shaun Durant came down with the board.
Williams, though, missed a running jumper in the paint and Hare crashed the boards for the rebound but was fouled after he dribbled valuable seconds off the clock. He hit both from the line for a 72-66 lead to seal it, as a late three-point play by Poindexter was too little, too late as Belmont outscored Lipscomb 16-11 in the overtime.
With the score knotted at 55-55, Poindexter got a wide-open look at a three- pointer from the right corner and buried it to give Lipscomb a 58-55 lead with 27.7 seconds remaining.
At the other end, Hare drove hard to the net, scooped-in two points and was fouled by Ard. Hare hit the ensuing free throw to tie things up at 58-58 with 20.7 ticks left.
Williams missed a long three-point attempt as time expired for the Bisons, sending the game into overtime.
The score was tied at 31-31 after the first half. Hare led Belmont with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field as the Bruins shot 50 percent from the field in the opening twenty minutes.
Ard and Daniels each had 11 points for Lipscomb, who shot 42.9 percent from the field as a team at the break.
Belmont has now won five straight games overall...The Bruins shot 50 percent from the field for the game while Lipscomb shot 35.6 percent...Lipscomb still leads the all-time series at 66-47...This was the third meeting this season between the two teams as Lipscomb won the first game on January 20, 97-85, and Belmont got revenge on January 31, with a 81-65 victory.
03/04 18:23:24 ET