Everything seems to be coming up Belmont these days.
The Bruins beat down Tennessee Tech 90-66 on Saturday night to clinch their seventh Ohio Valley Conference regular-season championship since joining the conference nine years ago. It’s also the third straight year Belmont has won or shared the OVC championship.
“Nothing counts yet,” said Belmont coach Casey Alexander, who was recently named to the Naismith Coach of the Year watchlist. “We’re proud of the regular-season championship outright, but (we’ve) got big games next week and plenty more after that.”
The win extended Belmont’s record for consecutive conference wins to 30. It also marked the Bruins’ 21st consecutive win — second-longest in the NCAA — and improved them to 24-1, the most wins in the country.
“We lose last year at Austin Peay to go to 5-3 in the league and it was a miserable locker room after the game," Alexander said, recalling the Bruins’ last conference loss. "To think that was the last time that we had to figure out what to do after a loss in the OVC is pretty remarkable."
The Bruins were led by All-OVC duo Nick Muszynski and Grayson Murphy, who impress on a nightly basis. Muszynski scored a game-high 19 points, while Murphy nearly had his second triple double in the last week with eight points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
"We've talked about it all season long, (Muszynski) is a great weapon for us," Alexander said. “…When he is demanding the ball and delivering, then we are really a good offense.
“[Murphy’s] individual spurtability is amazing; how he can just wrap possessions together like that. I wasn’t aware (of the near triple-double), but I know in the second half he seemed to show up all over the place.”
With the win, Belmont locked up the No. 1 seed in the OVC tournament, which is scheduled for March 3-6 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana, and a double bye into the semifinals.
The Bruins have two more games remaining in the regular season — both road contests at third-place Eastern Kentucky (18-6, 12-5) on Thursday and second-place Morehead State (17-7, 14-3) on Saturday.
Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_