Tennessee State-Belmont Halftime React
Belmont purposefully attacked the Tennessee State paint in the opening stages, feeding Evan Bradds on each of the first four possessions.
Late in the half, point guard Austin Luke did the same thing, feeding Bradds and then, if Bradds didn’t like the opportunity, re-feeding the post. Luke’s persistence and Bradds’ skills paid off.
Bradds did everything right in the opening frame. He attacked Tennessee State player after player. Tiger fouls piled up and buckets fell unabated. Demontez Loman was tagged by two early fouls. Backup Christian Griggs-Williams also earned his two fouls. Even Wayne Martin tried his hand, but picked up a foul. The matchup was a nightmare for the whole TSU squad. Bradds finished a single half of OVC basketball with 17 points (6-7 FG) and 5 rebounds.
If Bradds was not yet the frontrunner for Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year he is now.
Point of attack
Tennessee State decided to spread their guards wide and pass from wing to wing. With a single big splitting the defenders in half the TSU guards could operate with some free space. Tahjere McCall got to the basket a couple times, but the real successes by Tennessee State occurred when Keron DeShields shot or slashed. Also, Wayne Martin proved he can bully the entire Belmont front line.
Deshields racked up 17 points despite not touching the basketball for the first 2 minutes of the half.
The snow in Nashville was odd, but expected. The flurry of three-point baskets by Belmont sophomore Austin Luke was not forecast.
. Though he earned the starting PG spot Luke appeared to be an exceptional passer. His shooting touch was unproven at best, and inconsistent at worst. Playing with elite shooters like Nick Smith, Bradshaw, and Barnette the mere thought of attempting a 30% three-pointer escapes reason.
But Luke clearly improved his shot in the last few months. He nailed his first three triples against Tennessee State and had a large hand in the impressive Belmont outburst to open.
Halftime score: 55-39 Belmont leads big.