Belmont University

March 17, 2007

Belmont Women Fall To Georgia In NCAA Opening Round

Experience trumped youth in the Belmont women’s basketball team’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament. The 14th seeded Bruins were unable to upset third seed Georgia on Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis.

The Bruins had a rough start to open their first NCAA Tournament appearance. Georgia opened the first meeting between the programs with an 11-0 run. Belmont finally ended its drought with a free-throw by sophomore Jessica Bobbitt (Trenton, Tenn.) at the 16:16 mark. It looked like the Bruins had shaken off their Big Dance jitters when redshirt freshman Amber Rockwell (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) trapped a UGA player in the corner after a rebound, forcing her to use a timeout. The Bruins then resorted back to using steals and turnovers to create scoring opportunities. Rookie Tereva Moore (Memphis, Tenn.) netted BU’s first field goal of the game less than 45 seconds later. Sophomore Alysha Clark (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) powered through the paint for her first points of the game with 13:58 on the clock

By the eight minute mark, the Bruins had cut the Georgia lead down to 10, 18-8. A power move in the paint by Bobbitt cut the lead to eight but the Lady Bulldogs put together an 8-0 run to expand their lead to 26-10 with under four minutes remaining before the break. Freshman Shaunda Strayhorn (Dyersburg, Tenn.) drilled both of her attempts at the charity stripe and senior Destri Bockey (Van Wert, Ohio) pushed for a jumper in the paint in the final six seconds to send the Bruins to the locker room only down, 30-18.

Clark helped to get things started for the Bruins as the second stanza opened. After a put back lay-up by junior Brittany Myers (Madison, Ind.), Clark followed with Belmont’s first three pointer of the game to move the Bruins to within eight, 34-26, with 16:05 left in regulation. Moore squared up for a jumper just inside the three-point arc that drew the Belmont faithful and new converts left over from the previous game to their feet as the team moved to within striking distance with 15 and a half left in the game.

A three-point play by Tasha Humphrey put the Lady Bulldogs back on top by 10, 39-29, with 10:40 on the clock but Bockey found the bottom of the net from the top of the key to close the gap to eight again. Two minutes later, Georgia had inched back up to a double digit advantage, 41-31. Back-to-back trips to the free throw line by the Lady Bulldogs saw them convert three of the four attempts to take an 11 point lead, 44-31, with just over six minutes left in the contest.

The Bruins slipped in a drought that lasted nearly six minutes that was finally halted with on the front half of a one-and-one by Clark with 4:06 remaining in the game. However, Georgia was only able to increase its lead to 14 points, 46-32, during the stretch. In the final minutes, the Lady Bulldogs continued to add to their point total from the free-throw line and went on to win the game, 53-36.

Georgia shot 33.3 percent (19-57) from the floor, 80 percent (12-15) from the free-throw line and an icy 18.8 percent (3-16) from behind the three-point arc. The Lady Bulldogs forced 22 Belmont turnovers and held the advantage in blocks, 7-2, steals, 13-6, and assists, 13-8.

Christy Marshall led Georgia with 11 points while Ashley Houts added 10 in the effort. Angel Robinson and Janese Hardrick pulled down six rebounds apiece. Robinson also had a game-high three blocks while Hardrck came away with a game-high five steals.

Belmont shot 20.4 percent (11-54) from the hardwood, 68.4 percent (13-19) from the charity stripe and a dismal 4.0 percent (1-25) from three-point range. The Bruins dominated in rebounds, 46-39.

Clark notched her 20th double-double of the season with a game-high 12 points and 13 rebounds. Moore also reached double digits, adding 10 points in the effort. Bobbitt collected a team-high four steals.

“I was very proud of the effort,” said Head Coach Tony Cross. “Certainly we would have liked to take care of the ball a little more, and certainly made more than one out of 25 ‘threes’. We just couldn’t put enough pressure on the offense. Our defense did a great job. We knew rebounding would be a factor, and I think we took care of that part of the game.

“Probably shooting as far as taking good shots -- that will come and go. I think this was not typical of our shooting, but our decision-making needs to be better. I am very confident in the team we had this year. We had one goal of making the NCAA Tournament and now we have that goal of going to the NCAA Tournament plus one. Belmont will be back.”

Belmont finishes its 2006-07 campaign with a 25-7 record overall and a 16-2 Atlantic Sun record.

March 16, 2007

Women's Basketball Media Day Quotes - Friday


First of all, I’m very excited. I don’t think we are here just to play, I think we are here to compete. We’ve done some things particularly this year to hopefully prepare us for this situation," said Head Coach Tony Cross.

Click here to read more quotes from Cross and Belmont players Jessica Bobbitt, Alysha Clark, Angel Jones and Destri Bockey.

Cross To Face Friend, Mentor In Landers

The Nashville City Paper reported Friday morning on the long-standing friendship between Belmont Bruins women's basketball coach Tony Cross and their NCAA tournament first-round rival, No. 14-seed Georgia Lady Bulldogs' coach Andy Landers. Click here to read the article.

Belmont Bruins v. Georgetown Hoyas - Media Coverage

"Respect Earned By Belmont" - The Danville Bee, Friday, March 16, 2007

"Belmont Can't Hang With Hoyas In Loss" - Nashville City Paper, Friday, March, 16, 2007

"Even Stopping Stars Doesn't Help Bruins" - The Tennessean, Friday, March 16, 2007

March 15, 2007

"Where Is Belmont?" - A Fan's Reflections

DSCF2874.LR.jpgThough the glass slipper may not have fit for Belmont this year, if there were a competition for the teams with the most heart, spirit and devoted fans - the Bruins would certainly be in the finals.

Coming into Tar Heel country, there was certainly a sea of sky blue in the LJVM Coliseum as so many fans were expectantly awaiting to watch their team in the evening session of the first round games in Winston-Salem. As Belmont fans filled up their corner of the arena, the sky blue began to be overtaken by a sea of red. Fans were bombarded with the same question - "Where is Belmont?"

And even though they didn't know about Belmont's spot in Nashville and growing impact nationwide, by the end of the game, though it ended in defeat, those same Tar Heel fans cheered and stood with Belmont like they have followed them for years. They knew Belmont's cheers, chants and songs and groaned with the rest of us when a bad call - in our opinions - was made against the Bruins.

As we left the arena, heads held high, proud of our men's valiant effort, we were congratulated, encouraged and high-fived for our team's performance and presence in the tournament.

At a dinner with Belmont staff, alumni and friends after the game, the group recounted their favorite moments from the day and one memory stood out for everyone. As the Georgetown Hoyas' fans were being outmatched by Belmont's growing number of fans by the minute, they began a chant - "Where is Belmont?" - with hopes of silencing the crowd. With not a moment's pause, the Belmont cheering section answered back - "What's a Hoya?" The gymnasium erupted in cheers and applause - and silenced Georgetown fans.

We still don't know what a Hoya is. But they certainly know what a Bruin is - and how proud we all are to be one.

- Amanda Wheeler, Editor, Circle Magazine

Belmont vs. Georgetown Images

Click below to view images of Belmont's effort against Georgetown earlier today.












Bruins Fall To Georgetown In NCAA Tournament


I was proud of how hard we played. I thought that our kids competed all 40 minutes. As it happens so often in athletic contests, when you play somebody that is outstanding, it makes it hard for you to do the things that you normally do. We were 6-for-26 from three and they had a lot to do with that. Even when they weren't there, it's because we knew we weren't going to get any of those wide-open looks, and we got a little anxious there. I am proud of our kids and I'm proud of our season. I offer Georgetown congratulations. They are a great basketball team, I don't think there's any question about that. Somebody will have to play awfully well to beat them, no matter who it is. - Belmont Basketball Coach Rick Byrd

Belmont Basketball had a Cinderella slipper fit and ready for wear at the ‘Big Dance.’ But after riding a sizzling, three-point bonanza to its second consecutive Atlantic Sun Championship, the Bruins’ clock struck midnight. Icy long range shooting and a talented, disciplined foe spelled an 80-55 defeat at the hands of second-seeded Georgetown in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Belmont got off to an encouraging start, as sophomore point guard Henry Harris (Nashville, Tenn.) flew in for a tip-in basket off a missed three-pointer from sophomore Andy Wicke (Hendersonville, Tenn.) for the game’s first points one minute in.

After two free throws from Georgetown’s 7-2 center Roy Hibbert, the Bruins answered with two free throws from senior Andrew Preston (Winchester, Ky.) and a gorgeous hesitation dribble drive basket in transition from Harris for a 6-2 lead two and a half minutes in.

A backdoor slam from Dajuan Summers cut the lead in half, but a banked three-pointer from sophomore Matthew Dotson (Centerville, Tenn.) extended the Bruin edge to five, 9-4, with 16:26 in the half. Belmont, after playing almost exclusively halfcourt man-to-man defense this season, threw a wrinkle at the Big East Champion Hoyas with a variety of zone defenses.

Georgetown struggled early to find an offensive rhythm against the Bruin defense, and after a bank shot from senior Boomer Herndon (Nashville, Tenn.) dropped, Belmont had an 11-4 lead less than five minutes in. The stout Belmont following, as well as the vast majority of Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum fans were cheering on the Atlantic Sun Champions.

But the Hoya defense stiffened and Georgetown went on a systematic 11-0 run over the next five plus minutes to take the lead. Big East Player of the Year Jeff Green scored eight of the points as Georgetown went ahead 15-11. A free throw from sophomore Will Peeples (Little Rock, Ark.) ended the scoring drought, before Jessie Sapp and reserve Tyler Crawford knocked down two straight three-pointers to give the Hoyas a 21-12 advantage.

Junior Justin Hare (Cleveland, Tenn.) got on the board moments later with a triple off a nice feed from Preston, but three more Georgetown treys – five straight Hoya baskets were from long distance at one juncture late in the half - followed as the lead swelled to 12, 30-18.

Preston’s diligence down low did draw a second foul on Hibbert, who had been controlling the paint. A baseline three-pointer from Harris and consecutive putbacks from Dotson and sophomore Shane Dansby (Pegram, Tenn.) sliced the margin to seven, 32-25, with 3:14 in the half. The Bruins proceeded to have four possessions to cut further into the deficit, but were unable to do so.

Georgetown scored the final six points of the half - a Summers three-point play and a Jonathan Wallace three-pointer – to go to the locker room up 13, 38-25.

Belmont had its chances in the opening 20 minutes – but 4-for-9 free throw shooting and a 21-10 rebounding hole inhibited the cause.

Preston opened the second half in fine fashion with a baseline reverse past Hibbert to cut the margin to 11, 38-27. But the BU center picked up his third foul moments later and was forced to the Belmont bench. Georgetown proceeded to score the next eight points, four each from its two frontcourt stars Hibbert and Green to push the score to 46-27, with 17:30 left.

Preston was reinserted, and he scored again on a nice post move, but another Jessie Sapp three-pointer upped the Hoya lead to 20, 49-29, nearly five minutes into the second half. Sapp – who was 2-for-27 from three-point range in Georgetown’s previous seven games – found his touch, making four of his six long range attempts.

Hibbert, whose immense size kept possessions alive and clogged the Belmont lane, scored twice more in close to make it 53-30 with under 12 minutes to go.

After torching the nets in the Atlantic Sun Championship to the tune of 12 first half three-point field goals, BU was simply unable to order an encore performance. Wicke, in particular, so integral to Belmont’s success and the Atlantic Sun leader in three-point shooting at 46 percent, had an usually rough shooting night. The gutsy sophomore missed his first eight three-point attempts before sinking a long triple in front of the Bruin bench to make the score 64-41 with just over four minutes remaining.

Hare followed with a left wing three-pointer and Preston added a lefty hook to trim the margin to 20, 66-46, with 3:27 remaining. The Bruins fought hard irrespective of the score, getting several second and third shot opportunities. Belmont earned the respect of its opposition and the knowledgeable basketball fans of North Carolina.

But the overall size and versatility of Georgetown was the difference. Bruin fan favorite Andrew House (Nashville, Tenn.) scored in the final minute as every active player on the two teams saw action.

Belmont shot 36 percent from the floor – including 6-for-26 from three-point territory. Preston acquitted himself well in his final collegiate game, scoring a team-high 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Hare added 10 points.

The Bruins also outrebounded Georgetown in the second half, 20-18.

Sapp scored a career-high 20 points for the Hoyas. Green scored 15, and Hibbert chipped in 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Belmont finishes the season 23-10.

Click here
to read postgame quotes from Belmont and Georgetown players and coaches.

Belmont Fans Celebrate Pre-Game With Team

A legion of Belmont fans gathered with the pep band and cheerleaders pre-game at the team hotel, The Brookstone Inn, in Winston-Salem, N.C., to send the team to the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial (LJVM) Coliseum at Wake Forest University for the first-round matchup against Georgetown University.



March 14, 2007

Belmont Bruins Public Practice - March 14, 2007

Click below to view images of the Belmont Bruins men's basketball team's public practice on the eve of its first-round matchup against Georgetown.











Belmont's Justin Hare Redefines "Team Player"

attach.jpgThe official NCAA blog, Double-A Zone featured Belmont junior guard Justin Hare this morning.

The official blog of the NCAA, the Double-A Zone ( is an open forum for discussions to take place about issues in intercollegiate athletics. Exciting and passionate conversations take place online each and every day, and the popularity of the blog has grown since its inception.

Alysha Clark of Belmont's championship women's basketball team will be features on the forum later in the week.

During his sophomore year, Belmont guard Justin Hare started all but two games for the Bruins. Hare averaged 15.6 points per contest, earned second-team all-Atlantic Sun honors, was the conference tournament MVP and led Belmont to the NCAA tournament. One year later, he is arguably the best bench player in the field of 65.

Click here
to read the Double-A Zone.

March 13, 2007

Men's Basketball Send-Off Party Today!

Send Off Party Announcement

Bruins In Starting Five

The Tennessean reported Monday on the Belmont Bruins women's basketball team's inclusion in the NCAA tournament - the program's first-ever appearance - and its place as one of five women's programs from Tennessee invited to the tournament.

Click here
to read the article.

Bruins Dance Their Way to Minneapolis

The Nashville City Paper reported on the lively celebration for the Belmont Bruins women's basketball team Monday night as they learned where they were headed for the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Alysha Clark issued a friendly reminder on Monday that March is a time for dancing.

Before ESPN’s broadcast of the NCAA tournament selection show even began, the Belmont star initiated an impromptu dance party with her teammates inside the Beaman Student Life Center, where hundreds showed up to find out the Bruins’ fate for the upcoming Big Dance.

It turns out, the Bruins will be headed to Minneapolis as a No. 14 seed to take on Georgia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. When Belmont’s name flashed on the screen, Clark and her teammates upheld a time-honored tradition of leaping out of their seats and cheering raucously.

Click here to read the article.

March 12, 2007

Belmont Women Face Georgia In Opening Round

buWomenSelection.jpgThe Belmont women’s basketball team (25-6, 16-2 A-Sun) will head north to play a team from the south for its first trip to the Big Dance. The Atlantic Sun Champion Bruins will take on SEC runner-up Georgia (25-6, 11-3 SEC) in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

The game is scheduled for Saturday, March 17 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn., with tip off slated for approximately1:30 p.m. ET.

Belmont was tapped as the No. 14 seed in the Dallas Region while UGA was selected as the third seed. It will be the first ever meeting between the two programs.

Atlantic Sun Champion Belmont enters the NCAA Tournament with a hot streak, winning eight of its last nine games. The young Bruin squad is anchored by two-time A-Sun Player of the Year and 2007 Tournament MVP sophomore Alysha Clark (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.). The 5-10 forward is fourth in the nation in rebounds (12.7) and seventh in field-goal percentage (58.7). Clark leads the team and the Atlantic Sun Conference in points and rebounds.

Georgia finished as runner-up in the SEC Tournament and wrapped regular season play as fourteenth in the nation. The Lady Bulldogs have won 11 of their last 13 games. Three players average in double figures – Tasha Humphrey (15.6), Cori Chambers (11.1) and Ashley Houts (10.0). Humphrey also leads the team in rebounding (8.4).

The Georgia/Belmont winner will take on the winner of the Iowa State/Washington game on Monday, March 19 in the 2nd round.

Belmont To Host Selection Show Viewing Party for Women's Team Monday Night

womensasun.jpgCongratulations to the Belmont Women's basketball team for winning the Atlantic Sun Conference title and first ever berth in the NCAA Championship Tournament!

Join Belmont's teams, students and fans in the Beaman Student Life Center Monday night at 6 p.m. for a viewing party of the NCAA women's basketball championship selection special. The selection show will begin at 7 p.m.

Belmont's Men Want More Than One Song At This Dance

The Tennessean reports Monday morning on the Belmont men's basketball team's reaction to its 15-seed and matchup against No. 2-seed Georgetown in the opening round of the NCAA Championship Tournament on Thursday. Click here to read the article.

The Nashville City Paper was on Belmont's campus Sunday night to capture the team and fans' reaction at the Selection Show viewing party. Click here to read the City Paper article.

March 11, 2007

Belmont Men To Face Georgetown

viewing-party.jpgBelmont Basketball is headed to Tobacco Road. The Atlantic Sun Champion Bruins will face Big East Champion Georgetown in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The game will be played Thursday, March 15 from the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Tip-off time has yet to be determined.

Belmont (23-9) received the 15th seed in the East region. BU has won seven consecutive games – each by 15 or more points – including its 94-67 victory at East Tennessee State on March 3 to defend its Atlantic Sun Championship. Junior Justin Hare (Cleveland, Tenn.), who was named Atlantic Sun Tournament MVP for a second straight season, leads Belmont in scoring at 14.4 points per game. Senior Andrew Preston (Winchester, Ky.) and sophomore Andy Wicke (Hendersonville, Tenn.) joined Hare on the All-Tournament Team.

The Bruins led the Atlantic Sun Conference in scoring defense (64.0 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.387), three-point field goal percentage defense (.281), and scoring margin (+9.0).

As for 2nd-seeded Georgetown (26-6), the Hoyas have won 15 of their last 16 games including a resounding 65-42 victory over Pittsburgh Saturday in the Big East Championship. Georgetown is led by Big East Player of the Year and Tournament Most Outstanding Player Jeff Green, a versatile 6-9 junior forward who scored 51 points in the Hoyas’ last two victories.

Georgetown also sports 7-2 junior center Roy Hibbert, who averages 13 points and six rebounds per game.

The two teams did not have a common opponent this season. Belmont is 0-1 lifetime against the Big East Conference losing at Notre Dame to start the 2002-03 season.

Interestingly, Belmont and Georgetown each faced to teams who made it to the National Championship game last year. Belmont was a 15 seed in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, playing eventual National Runner-Up UCLA, while Georgetown was a 7 seed who lost a tight game to National Champion Florida in the Regional Semifinals.

March 10, 2007

We're Dancin' Too! Women's Basketball Wins Atlantic Sun Championship

womenasun.jpgThe Belmont women’s basketball team’s (25-6, 16-2 A-Sun) motto all season was “One Goal: NCAA.” On Saturday, the Bruins accomplished that goal and knocked off third-seeded ETSU (20-11, 14-4 A-Sun), 69-57, in the finals of the Atlantic Sun Championship to claim their first ever conference title and advance to the NCAA Tournament.

The pace was feverish and aggressive as both teams looked to get on the board first. Freshman Shaunda Strayhorn (Dyersburg, Tenn.) put up Belmont’s first points from the charity stripe and was followed by a jumper from A-Sun All-Freshman Team selection Tereva Moore (Memphis, Tenn.). Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year Siarre Evans nailed her first three pointer of the game to get the Lady Bucs on the board at the 18:26 mark. A trip to the free-throw line by Atlantic Sun Player of the Year sophomore Alysha Clark (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) put Belmont up, 7-3. ETSU slipped into a drought that lasted almost five minutes before TaRonda Wiles batted in the paint for a lay-up that moved the team to within two, 9-7.

Back-to-back lay-ups by Latisha Belcher knotted the score at 11 with just over eight and a half minutes remaining before the break. ETSU briefly took the lead with a jumper by Belcher but a bucket from downtown by Strayhorn put BU back on top, 16-14. Kelly Thurman was sent to the line, hitting both, to help the Lady Bucs regain the lead but sophomore Jessica Bobbitt (Trenton, Tenn.) hit a pretty spin around jumper deep in the paint to knot the game at 18 with just under five minutes left in the first half.

The teams continued the back and forth battle until the final minute of the first stanza. Bobbitt knocked down her third and fourth blocks of the half at ETSU’s end before grabbing a rebound and sending the ball down the court to set Belmont up to take the final shot of the game. Strayhorn was fouled with 20 ticks on the clock and drilled both at the line to put the Bruins ahead by three. A final shot by the Lady Bucs was wide and the teams headed into the locker rooms with Belmont up, 24-21.

Belmont finished the first half with eight blocks, just two away from tying the conference record.

Strayhorn drove to the basket with Belmont’s first possession and opened up a 9-2 run that put the Bruins up, 33-26. The Lady Bucs chipped away at the Bruins’ growing lead until they inched within three with a triple by Wiles with 13:48 remaining in the game. A three-point play by Brooke Wilhoit moved ETSU to within one but Moore hit a fall-away jumper to put Belmont back on top by three, 38-35.

Belmont blew its lead up to six, 41-35, with one of Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team selection Amber Rockwell’s (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) trademark NBA range three pointers at the 10 minute mark. Devin Thompson made it a four point game with a pair of free throws 15 seconds later. Back-to-back jumpers by Thurman knotted the game at 41 before redshirt freshman Kristin Bunch (Fayetteville, Ga.) drilled a trey to put the Bruins back on top by one, 44-43.

With just five minutes left, BU continued to hold off the surging Lady Bucs. Clark was sent to the charity stripe three times in two minutes, hitting five of the six attempts. Clark finally was able to penetrate the paint for a lay-up without being fouled and put the Bruins up, 55-45. Belmont began to play with the clock and step up its defensive effort. With just 90 ticks left in regulation, Strayhorn nailed a monster three pointer near the top of the key to help put the game out of the Lady Bucs’ reach. A heave from deep behind the three-point arc by Wilhoit with 40 seconds left would be ETSU’s last field goal of the game. Belmont would be sent to the line four times in the last 30 seconds and go on to win the game, 69-57.

Bobbitt, Strayhorn and Clark were all named to the All-Tournament team and Clark received Most Valuable Player honors.

Belmont will await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee on Monday night. It will mark the first time since 1999 that the men’s and women’s teams from the same school have advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

March 09, 2007

"Belmont awaits word from Selection Committee"

The Nashville City Paper reported today on Belmont's potential seeding and location for the first round of the NCAA tournament. Click here to read the article.

Belmont is hosting a Selection Show viewing party at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Beaman Student Life Center.

March 07, 2007

Belmont To Host Selection Sunday Viewing Party

party.jpgJoin the Belmont men's basketball team Sunday, March 11, in the lobby of the Beaman Student Life Center for a viewing party of the NCAA Selection Show on CBS and celebrate with them as they learn who they will play and where they will travel for the first round of the NCAA Basketball Championship Tournament.

Festivities will start at 4 p.m. and the selection show will begin at 5 p.m.

Go Bruins!

Hare Receives Distinction From Web Publication

Justin HareBelmont Basketball junior Justin Hare received yet another honor Wednesday, being named the Atlantic Sun Conference Most Valuable Player by

The Cleveland, Tenn., native scored 17 points in the Bruins’ 94-67 victory over ETSU in the Atlantic Sun Championship this past Saturday en route to his second straight Atlantic Sun Tournament MVP.

Last week, Hare was also named First Team All-Atlantic Sun and Second Team Academic All-American.

Hare is third on Belmont’s career scoring list (NCAA era) with 1,265 points., one of the most reputed college basketball Web sites in the country, chose award winners from each of the 31 conferences in Division-I college basketball. Earlier this season, recognized Belmont head coach Rick Byrd as its Coach of the Week.

Belmont (23-9) will represent the Atlantic Sun in the upcoming NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year.

"Competitive fire took Byrd to top of the mountain"

The Nashville City Paper profiled men's basketball head coach Rick Byrd and his storied career at Belmont in the Wednesday edition of the paper. The article states:

"With all due respect to alums Trisha Yearwood and Brad Paisley, Belmont’s biggest star these days is Rick Byrd.

It has nothing to do with his Vince Gill dealings, but with his 21 years on campus, his 500-plus career wins and now his two NCAA tournament berths, Byrd has his earned his status as the symbol of Belmont University. Except for those few days last year when Keith Urban was rehearsing at the Curb Event Center for the CMA’s, Byrd has always been the biggest star on campus."

Click here to read the article in its entirety.

March 06, 2007

Belmont One Of Eight TN Schools Headed to NCAAs

asunchamps1.jpgThe Tennessean reported Tuesday on the presence of basketball programs throughout the state in the upcoming NCAA tournaments. Belmont's men's team was the first team in the state to earn a bid; the Belmont women's basketball team could be added to the list after their conference tournament this weekend in Dothan, Ala.

Click here to read the Tennessean article.

March 03, 2007

Going Dancing Again

Bruins Earn Second Consecutive NCAA Berth With 94-67 Victory
Over ETSU In A-Sun Championship

The Belmont men’s basketball team earned their second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth as they captured the Atlantic Sun Championship Saturday afternoon with a 94-67 victory over No.1 seed and host ETSU. It marked the second straight year No. 2 seed Belmont defeated the No.1 seed in the championship game.

The victory for the Bruins was keyed by their shooting and rebounding. For the game they shot 50 percent, 48 percent from behind the three-point arc. They also outrebounded the Bucs 53-33.

Belmont jumped out to an early double digit lead mainly due to their remarkable shooting in the first half. They shot 53 percent in the first half and a staggering 63 percent (12-19) from three point range. At halftime, the Bruins led 49-30 after Justin Hare’s running three-pointer at the buzzer.

In the second half, Belmont’s shooting cooled off, but the Bucs could not capitalize as the Bruins responded to every ETSU scoring run. The closest the Bucs came was 14 points, but could not get any closer.

Belmont had four players in double figures. They were led in scoring by Andrew Preston and Andy Wicke who led the team with 18 points. Preston added a team-high 10 rebounds. Justin Hare added 17, while Boomer Herndon added 10 points.

ETSU was led by Courtney Pigram who had 21 points in the loss.

Three Bruins were named to the All-Tournament team: Andy Wicke, Andrew Preston and Justin Hare, who was named MVP.

For complete coverage of Belmont's road to the NCAA Championship Tournament, visit

"Another Dance For Belmont" - The Tennessean, March 4, 2007

"Belmont dances back into NCAA tournament" - Nashville City Paper, March 4, 2007

"Byrd approaches NCAA different this time" - Nashville City Paper, March 5, 2007