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Clark, Jenkins help Belmont hold off Eastern Kentucky 83-76 in battle of OVC unbeatens

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.