If only there was a rubber match between these two teams... Indiana State and Belmont did not disappoint in our Mid-Major Game of the Week, as both teams kept this game close most of the way.
Of course, today's game was a rematch of the 96-95 thriller in November when Belmont came back from a 16 point halftime deficit to win the game in Nashville. The Bruins wouldn't have the same luck this time around in Terre Haute.
Both teams came out blazing in the first half. At one point three straight three pointers from the Sycamores, that gave them an 18-11 advantage, looked like it would blow the game open. Instead, Spencer Turner would nail two threes of his own to tighten the game back up. The first half was very fast paced and only featured four free throw shots. A Demetrius Moore layup would give the Sycamores a 38-36 advantage at the break.
The second half was also a back and forth affair until 9:27 mark when a hoop and the harm situation from Jake Odum would cap an 8-0 run from the Sycamores and give them a 57-52 lead. Odum would score 12 more points in the half, 9 from the free throw line, as Indiana State would pull away for a 85-73 win.
On the day Odum would finish with 25 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. His steals total would catapult him to fourth all-time on the Sycamores steals list. Manny Arop would add 16 points and 6 boards and the Sycamores would shoot an even 50% on the afternoon.
The Sycamores will now go into their first Missouri Valley game on Wednesday against Loyola with a 9-3 mark and winning six of their last seven games. If it's an at-large bid that the Sycamores will need to look for, today's win along with a win over nationally ranked Notre Dame, at the time, will certainly help. A loss to Tulsa is the Sycamores' biggest blemish at this time.
Rick Byrd and his Belmont Bruins now find themselves at 8-6 on the year and have dropped four straight games and five of their last six. The Bruins upset over North Carolina and a six game winning streak in November now seems like a long time ago.
A positive for Byrd has to be the performance of his backcourt in Reece Chamberlain and Craig Bradshaw. The two guards combined for 30 points, 11 assists, and 7 rebound today. Belmont star J.J. Mann was held to just 6 points after dropping 23 on the Sycamores in November.
Belmont will open up Ohio Valley play on Thursday against Jacksonville State.
- Eddie Biedenbach Comes Back to Asheville as a Member of UNCW
- Belmont vs. Indiana State HOOPWAR Analysis: Justin Gant's Improvement Key to Sycamore Success
- Mid-Major Madness Year in Review: The Mid-Major 5 Dominate ESPN's Talking Heads
- Mid-Major College Basketball Weekend Viewing Guide: Are Upsets Brewing?
- Mid-Major Madness Year in Review: Doug McDermott Was a Tease