Belmont (10-6) at Southeast Missouri State (8-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Show Me Center (6,972) -- Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Television: None. Home Record: Belmont 5-1, SEMO 3-1. Away Record: Belmont 3-5, SEMO 2-6. Neutral Record: Belmont 2-0, SEMO 3-0. Conference Record: Belmont 2-0, SEMO 0-2. Series Record: Belmont leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Belmont opens its Ohio Valley Conference road slate against Southeast Missouri State on Thursday night at the Show Me Center.
The Bruins have opened league play with consecutive wins, including a close 64-62 decision over Tennessee Tech last Saturday. Belmont forced 19 turnovers and survived Jeremiah Samarrippas' errant jumper in the final seconds to escape with its unblemished conference record intact.
Craig Bradshaw led three Bruins in double figures with 17 points in the latest victory, while J.J. Mann and Evan Bradds contributed 14 and 10 points, respectively.
The Bruins, though, have lost four in a row on the road and must improve on defense, as they are allowing foes to shoot 47.9 percent from the field in putting up 76.6 ppg. The offense has made up for those mediocre numbers by making 49.3 percent of its shots thanks to a balanced scoring attack.
Mann leads the team with 16.1 ppg, Bradshaw checks in at 14.2, and Drew Windler rounds out the double-digit scorers with 11.9 ppg. Reece Chamberlain is the straw that stirs the drink for the offense, doling out 4.5 assists and adding 9.6 points per game. Chamberlain has also turned it over just 30 times for a solid assist-to-turnover ratio.
Southeast Missouri State is hoping to bounce back from a tough loss against Austin Peay last Saturday. The Redhawks led by 15 midway through the first half, but watched Austin Peavy chip away and rattle off 15 consecutive points after the break to pull out the 80-74 decision. The loss was the fifth in the last six games for the Redhawks, who will have played 11 of their 15 games away from home.
Jarekious Bradley and Tyler Stone have carried the load for SEMO, which sits at a robust 82.1 ppg despite a so-so overall record. Bradley is pouring in 21.3 ppg while making 52.0 percent of his shots, which includes a terrific 42.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. Stone is not far behind with a 17.8 ppg average, while also pulling down a hefty 9.5 rpg.
The only other meeting between these two teams took place last January, and Belmont rolled to a 107-72 victory. Thursday's game should be much closer, but the same outcome is to be expected.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Belmont 81, Southeast Missouri State 77
01/09 10:37:40 ET