It felt as if Belmont was actually going to do it. Nick Hopkins was nailing threes. The Bruins had the lead on Providence with just 40 seconds to go. Victory was right there.
With eight seconds left, they seized it — or so they thought.
As the Bruins threw up a beautiful alley-oop that managed to find its way to the bottom of the net, one could not only sense the jubilation on the Bruins’ sideline, they could see it.
However, that excitement expired all too quickly:
This loss certainly stings, especially since Belmont was right there. The Bruins were on their way to pulling off a massive win for their program against a Big East team that was 47-2 in non-conference home games under Ed Cooley coming into tonight.
Unfortunately, they just could not do it. Kyron Cartwright is a gifted player, and his ability to weave through the defense and get a halfway-decent look from three in under four seconds was incredible.
However, the excellence that Belmont displayed tonight should make every team left on their schedule even more nervous than they already are. Everyone already knows how good their upperclassmen like Dylan Windler and Amanze Egekeze are, but now freshmen like Hopkins are making their presence felt.
The loss isn’t easy, but Belmont can take solace in knowing Rick Byrd is a professional, who will make sure they learn from what went wrong so that they can improve.
You can bet that this won’t happen next time.