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Belmont combines balanced scoring, strong defense in 79-62 road win over Western Kentucky

Belmont combined balanced scoring and strong defense to defeat Western Kentucky, 79-62, on Saturday night in E.A. Diddle Arena.

Belmont (9-4) has now won seven consecutive games against Western Kentucky, the Conference USA favorites.

Tyler Scanlon led five Bruins in double figures with 18 points. Michael Benkert scored a career-high 15 points, while Nick Muszynski added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Belmont’s Adam Kunkel (5) goes up for a dunk against WKU’s Taveion Hollingsworth (11) on Saturday night. (Belmont photo)

Carson Williams led Western Kentucky (7-5) with 12 points. Belmont held the Hilltoppers to a season-low 34 percent shooting. Josh Anderson added 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals for the Hilltoppers.

“I thought the biggest thing with us was offensively in the first half,” WKU head coach Rick Stansbury said. “I just didn’t think the ball moved well. I thought the ball stuck, I thought we had too many quick shots, I thought we had some forced shots. And I haven’t really said that all year long. We dug ourselves a hole.”

Despite foul trouble for leading scorer Adam Kunkel, Belmont led the entire game. Kunkel capped an 8-0 run to give Belmont a 50-37 lead with 14:34 left.

From there, a flurry of 3-pointers from Benkert during a two-minute span extended the Belmont lead to 70-51 with 5:42 remaining.

Belmont’s Grayson Murphy flirted with a triple-double before finishing with 11 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Belmont outrebounded Western Kentucky by a 45-35 margin.

Western Kentucky plays North Texas at 7 p.m. Thursday at E.A. Diddle Arena.

From Western Kentucky and Belmont sports information

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