College Corner: Belmont Basketball Players Earn MVC Honors, TSU’s Jr. Clay Recognized By OVC

Belmont’s Ben Sheppard Named MVC Player Of The Week After Stellar Performances

Ben Sheppard. Photo: Courtesy of Belmont Athletics

Belmont University men’s basketball senior Ben Sheppard has been named Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Player of the Week after scoring a combined 46 points with 12 rebounds in two games. His huge performances led Belmont to major wins over Murray State and Bradley.

Sheppard had 23 points, six rebounds, three assists and made the game-winning shot with 3.3 seconds left as Belmont won at Bradley to end the team’s 17-game home court win streak–the third-longest in the nation behind Auburn and UCLA. Additionally, Sheppard had 23 points, six rebounds and four assists against Murray State.

The Atlanta, Georgia native ranks among MVC leaders in nine statistical categories, including third in scoring, ninth in assists per game and tenth in steals per game. He has 63 double-figure scoring games and is on the Lou Henson Player of the Year Award Watch List.


Belmont’s Madison Bartley Shows Up Big, Earns MVC Player Of the Week

Madison Bartley. Photo: Courtesy of Belmont Athletics

A key piece to the Belmont University women’s basketball team’s dominant weekend, junior forward Madison Bartley, has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player (MVC) of the Week.

The Kettering, Ohio native averaged 24 points and six rebounds in 23.7 minutes across the two wins. Shooting 60 percent (18-of-30) from the field and going 11-for-12 (.917) at the free-throw line, Bartley notched back-to-back 20-point performances.

In Belmont’s Friday (Jan. 20) night win over Missouri State, Bartley scored 14 of her season-high 26 points in the fourth quarter. She went 8-for-8 at the foul line and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, scoring eight-straight points in the closing minutes to seal the victory. On Sunday (Jan. 22), Bartley was ultra-efficient in the Bruins’ 56-point, 101-45 blowout of Southern Illinois. In only 15:49 of action on the court, she scored 22 points on 9-for-10 shooting and collected four boards.

Bartley earns her second conference player of the week award after being selected as Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week last January. Three different Belmont players have now garnered MVC weekly accolades. Junior guard Destinee Wells was tabbed MVC Player of the Week on Nov. 14 following the first week of the season, and graduate guard Sydni Harvey earned both MVC Player and Newcomer of the Week honors on Dec. 27 after her historic three-point shooting display versus Troy.


TSU Graduate Jr. Clay Named OVC Player Of The Week

Jr. Clay. Photo: Courtesy of TSU Athletics

Tennessee State men’s basketball graduate student Jr. Clay was named the OVC Co-Player of the Week after scoring his 2,000th point against Little Rock.

On Saturday (Jan. 21) against Little Rock, Clay dropped 33-points as he broke the 2,000 milestone. The 33 points are the third-most by an OVC player in a game this season. The Chattanooga native scored 28 of those points after halftime and finished the game 11-of-24 from the field and 10-of-11 at the free throw line. He added six assists, four rebounds and a steal.

Clay opened the week with 18 points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal against Eastern Illinois. He hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final 42 seconds as the Tigers won by four points.

Clay leads the OVC in scoring (18.9 points/game), is second in assists (4.6/game), fifth in 3-pointers made (2/4/game), sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4), and seventh in free throw percentage (80.9 percent). In Conference-only games, Clay is averaging 22.5 points per game.

Steven Boero