"Anything you can do..." - Autumn Allison/Belmont Vision
For 45 seconds, Ian Clark made you forget there was a preseason All-American on the floor. That preseason All-American found a way to remind everyone he existed.
Onions. Cold-blooded. "Wow". "Ian Clark." "Umm, Belmont"
How about we throw a little "Ian Clark, you are ridiculous"?
Belmont's Ian Clark hit two of the stone-cold, most calm 3-pointers of any player we have seen play this season. The second of those went over the outstretched hand of Murray State's Ed Daniel, who happened to be the tallest man on the floor.
It capped a huge comeback for the Bruins who had trailed the Racers since five minutes into the game.
But it wasn't enough because the sequence went like this:
01:19 74 - 71 H 3 GOOD! 3 PTR by CLARK, Ian
01:16 TIMEOUT 30sec
01:10 TURNOVR by MUSHATT, Latreze
01:09 STEAL by CHAMBERLAIN, Reece
00:58 74 - 74 T 1 GOOD! 3 PTR by CLARK, Ian
00:35 77 - 74 H 3 GOOD! 3 PTR by CANAAN, Isaiah
Yeah, Clark was that good that it made you forget that Isaiah Canaan was on the floor for about 45 seconds. That Isaiah Canaan, the one who stepped up his game for the conference showdown of the year in the OVC.
Forget Belmont's roll through the previously undefeated Ohio Valley opponents that occurred a couple of weeks ago. This was the circled game. This was the one to watch.
And for about 30 minutes, Canaan and Murray State made it look silly to even turn in. That was before Belmont started to feed the ball inside and attack Daniel. That was before the Bruins cut down a 15-point lead with layups and a few clutch 3-pointers by Trevor Noack.
That was before Clark decided he was going to freeze his blood -- yeah, ice in his veins.
And then Canaan turned the heat on full blast.
Give the Bruins credit for not giving up. On the road, in front of a "White Out," they fought back in a way that they haven't had to compete this season, especially not in conference where they were 10-0 entering the night.
Once Clark found his stroke (8-for-14 FG, 4-for-7 3PT, 22 pts), it looked as if it might be business as usual. This was a Murray State team that hadn't looked itself lately. Not in the close win against Austin Peay, not in the LOSS to Jacksonville State. Belmont thought it had that mojo back.
Then Canaan happened.
Yeah, that Isaiah Canaan.
He finished with 26 points, including a 15 of 17 performance at the free throw line. He didn't need to do it on the floor, because the threat of him scoring made Belmont foul him. Only he did do it from the floor -- from deep on the floor. He hit the three that brought the Belmont comeback to a halt and ended their undefeated run on conference with a 79-74 win.
Yeah, that Isaiah Canaan.