Career Night for Dylan Windler
Like a classic car Belmont cruised down the lane in the Battle of the Boulevard, winning 105-89 over Lipscomb.
Craig Bradshaw jump-started the automobile for 15 first half points and Taylor Barnette brought the car back home with 17 second half points.
“I can’t think of a game we shot as good as that,” said Bradshaw. “It seemed like a lot of 3’s were hit.”
Quiet in the first frame, Barnette nailed five 3-pointers after the break.
“I think, one thing, playing basketball you try to let the game come to you,” said Barnette. “There are so many good shooters on this team, so you can’t really guard one guy. You have to guard everybody.”
When a guy is hot like that you just have to keep giving him the ball, for sure,” said Barnette.
The Bruins rolled out two shiny new car parts in Dylan Windler and Kevin McClain. Windler registered a career high 13 points and a career high 8 rebounds.
“I haven’t really proved that I can score that well in the post yet, but I am getting there,” said Windler.
Windler is a slinky wing with a Tayshaun Prince arsenal of weaponry. He slashes with composure, but also knocks down outside shots regularly.
The spindly Windler yanked down an offensive rebound, only to convert under duress. Minutes later Windler fouled out George Brammeier after Windler offered a right-handed putback.
“Just fighting for the offensive rebound,” said Windler. “Every time Mack (Mercer), or anybody gets the ball in the post, I just charge the paint. It happened to work out a few times. I just went back up and got the foul called.”
His contributions only ceased when Coach Byrd pulled him from the game entering the under 4 timeout.
“I hate to compare him to this person, because Evan is so good, but he is kind of like Evan (Bradds) because he can play both (inside and outside),” said Bradshaw. “He is a little more guard-oriented than Evan is. He can shoot it better too. That helps us a whole lot because we can put him in the post. He is a great passer out of there.”
Kevin McClain is a different, but likewise threatening backup to Austin Luke. Battling foul trouble for most of the night, Luke gave way to a upstart slasher/scorer in McClain. Midway through the second half, with Bradshaw’s production stalled and Barnette deferring slightly, McClain patiently poked and prodded a vulnerable Lipscomb defense. With more dribbles than Belmont typically uses in a five play stretch, McClain knifed to the bucket and converted despite the hard foul.
Teammate Amanze Egekeze shouted his approval and they met with a chest bump. McClain finished with a season-high 15 minutes. He tied his career high with 3 rebounds. The nine points were much needed.
Craig Bradshaw is an All-OVC performer that sporadically has All-American nights.
“When a guy is hot like that you just have to keep giving him the ball, for sure,” said Barnette.
Vintage Bradshaw. Threatening the triple, he baits his defender and dishes to a slicing Bradds. When Bradshaw is right, there really is no good way to defend him. He defends without fouling, shoots before you close out, and sees his teammates. The athletic shooter impacts the game so many ways. He chats amicably with the officials, converses with the coach, and leads the charge.
When Bradshaw is collecting hand check fouls, still happening in his fourth year of college, he finds himself sitting too much.
Foul trouble plagued the starting backcourt of Austin Luke and Craig Bradshaw. Both had strong performances, but watched plenty from the cushioned chairs.
Ultimately Bradshaw fouled out with 20 points, 15 of which came in his exceptional first half.
Considering the hot shooting from Bradshaw and Barnette the game should have been a landslide. But Belmont was consistently unable to thwart Lipscomb’s attack. For every two shots Belmont made, Lippy answered back without blinking. The Bruins were unable to pull away.
“We are not a good defensive team right now,” said Barnette. “We just have to focus on that and get better at that. That is really our main focus. We honestly haven’t had a chance to practice because we have been on the road so much. When we get a chance to focus we are going to lock in and practice.”
By winning Belmont improves to 5-3. The visiting Lipscomb Bison fall to 3-6.