NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ian Clark scored 22 points and Blake Jenkins added 21 as Belmont held off Eastern Kentucky 83-76 Thursday night in a contest between two of the three undefeated Ohio Valley Conference teams.
The Bruins (14-4, 5-0) won their fifth straight game and share the league lead with Tennessee State (5-0).
Belmont led by as many as 17 and 33-24 at halftime. But the Colonels opened the second half with a 17-6 spurt, including four 3-pointers, to lead 41-39 with 17:02 remaining
The lead changed hands five more times, with Belmont using a 12-0 run to pull ahead 77-69 with 3:26 left. Mike DiNunno, whose season-high 24 led Eastern Kentucky (14-4, 4-1), hit back-to-back treys to get within two with 2:38 remaining, but the Colonels couldn't make another basket and saw their four-game winning streak end.
Eastern Kentucky shot 12 of 36 from long range while Belmont was 8 of 20.
Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku, who recently underwent a medical procedure to correct a heart rhythm issue detected during the combine, will keep his name in the NBA draft pool.
Andrew White III will return to the Nebraska men's basketball team next season after removing his name from the NBA draft.
|Southeast Missouri State||2-14||8||5-24|