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Morning Coffee: Belmont Roars to Second Half Comeback, Jerrelle Benimon Goes Off

What a night of college hoops! HBCUs strike again with a win over Air Force, Belmont puts together an epic comeback, Jerrelle Benimon dominates, and a lot of West Coast action.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night was another solid night of mid-major college hoops, so much so that Ben Miraski is probably waking up somewhere in a ditch with sharpie on his face, wondering what just happened...

What everyone will be talking about over their morning coffee:

Indiana State looked like the team that holds the thirteenth spot in our Mid-Major Madness Power 15 poll for the first 20 minutes of basketball against Belmont last night. The Sycamores shot out to a 49-33 over the Bruins at the break, but Rick Byrd's squad wasn't going to go down without a fight.

I hope Jake Odum and Indiana State enjoyed being in the MMM Power 15 this week because they'll likely be dropping out.  Yes, Odum did do his thing and put up 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists but Belmont roared back to beat the Sycamores 96-95 behind a pair of Drew Windler free thorws to ice the game with 15 seconds remaining. In case you're counting, that means the Bruins out scored the Sycamores 63-46 in the second half! That's as many points as Florida A&M scored in their upset over Stetson Thursday night.

All five starters for the Bruins posted totals in double figures and J.J. Mann was the high scorer with 23 points and 6 rebounds. Belmont moves to 2-1 and will head to #12 North Carolina on Sunday, while Indiana State drops to 1-1 and will also head to take on an ACC opponent, Notre Dame, this weekend.

Side of bacon:

Everybody's favorite mid-major start Jerrelle Benimon went off last night in a 75-69 win over Temple for the now 3-0 Towson Tigers. Benimon finished the game with 32 points and 10 boards for his second straight double-double of the year. If you're keeping tabs at home, that means Benimon is averaging 19.7 points and 13.7 rebounds per game this year.

Towson will get a shot at another Philly foe this Sunday as they visit Villanova. Good news for mid-major fans, you can catch this one on FoxSports1.

Other bites:

  • How bout Loyola Marymount? After a really rough year going 1-15 in the WCC last year, the Lions are off to a 3-0 start this year. Last night's win on the road against Long Beach State was the most impressive though. 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals from star Anthony Ireland would propel the Lions to a 74-73 win over the boys from the LBC.
  • Staying on the "Left Coast", St. Mary's continued their trail of mid-major terror by knocking of MMM Power 15 member North Dakota State 78-65. The Gaels are now 3-0 with convincing victories over Louisiana Tech, Akron, and the Bison. Drake will come in from the Missouri Valley this weekend.
  • William & Mary had an upset bid going against Wichita State leading at halftime 39-38. Wichita State would blow them out in the second half though and end the game with a 79-62. The Tribe was just 11 for 22 from the charity stripe. Make your free throws Tribe!
  • Toledo moved to 2-0 with a solid win over Boston College on the road 95-92. Julius Brown put on a show with 23 points and 10 assists for the Rockets.
  • The HBCUs strike again this week, this time with a big win from Jackson State over Air Force 84-82. Javeres Brent lead Jackson State with 17 points and was 5 for 7 from beyond the arch.
  • I leave you with the Youngstown State Penguins and this awesome dunk from one of our favorite guys, Kendrick Perry, from yesterday: