Morehead State (13-7) at Belmont (14-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 23, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Curb Event Center (5,085) -- Nashville, Tennessee. Television: OVC Digital Network. Home Record: Morehead State 7-2, Belmont 6-1. Away Record: Morehead State 5-4, Belmont 6-6. Neutral Record: Morehead State 1-1, Belmont 2-0. Conference Record: Morehead State 4-1, Belmont 5-1. Series Record: Belmont leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Belmont Bruins begin a tough three-game stretch tonight when they host the Morehead State Eagles in a key Ohio Valley Conference contest at the Curb Event Center.
Belmont leads the OVC's East Division by one-half game over Morehead State. These two teams will face each other again in seven days, as the Eagles will host the Bruins next Thursday. In between, the Bruins will host Eastern Kentucky, which sits in third place in the division and handed Belmont its only conference loss this season back on Jan. 16.
The Bruins have won two straight since losing to Eastern Kentucky, defeating Tennessee State, 79-65, last Saturday to improve to 5-1 in the OVC, and then downing MAAC foe Fairfield, 62-53, on Monday night.
With Belmont's trademark 3-point shooting not quite on target, the Stags stayed in the game versus Fairfield, tying it at 53-53 with 4:01 left. However, JJ Mann drained a trey to give the Bruins the lead and spark a 7-0 run that ended the game.
All told, Belmont shot 49 percent from the field, going just 3-of-16 from beyond the arc. For the season, the Bruins are a 39 percent 3-point shooting team.
Mann, Belmont's leading scorer with 16.3 ppg, ended with 15 points for the Bruins, who have won six of seven overall. Reece Chamberlain added 13 points and Craig Bradshaw scored 12, as Belmont has won three straight at home.
Morehead State also comes into tonight's contest riding a two-game win streak. Like the Bruins, the Eagles' last and only OVC loss was to Eastern Kentucky back on Jan. 11. Since then, Morehead State has downed Southeast Missouri State and UT-Martin, both bottom feeders in the OVC's West Division.
Junior Angelo Warner tied his career-high with 25 points, as Morehead State downed UT-Martin, 82-75, last Saturday. Junior Jordan Percell added 13 points for the Eagles, who have won five of their past six games to improve to 4-1 in the OVC.
Warner leads the Eagles and is the fifth-leading scorer in the OVC with 17.5 ppg. Brent Arrington adds 11.9 ppg and Chad Posthumus 10.7 ppg and a team-best 12.2 rpg for Morehead state, which nets 78.9 ppg.
This will likely be a high-scoring affair. While Morehead State is just a win away from overtaking Belmont for the top spot in the OVC, it hasn't been truly tested yet. Expect Belmont to find its shooting touch and run Morehead out of the building.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Belmont 88, Morehead State 75
01/23 10:22:34 ET