J.J. Mann and Blake Jenkins each scored 25 points as Belmont beat Murray State 99-96 in a battle of Ohio Valley Conference West and East division leaders on Thursday night.
Belmont (18-8, 9-2) and Murray State (13-9, 8-2) were locked at 45 at intermission, but Belmont pulled away to a 76-65 lead with 10 minutes to play in the second period. Belmont maintained that spread going into the final minute when Murray State made its move on a 7-1 run getting to within four points at 94-90 with 30 seconds remaining.
Mann closed out Belmont scoring by making 4 of 4 from the line in maintaining a 99-96 Bruin lead when Murray State's T.J. Sapp stole the ball but missed a dramatic 3 at the buzzer allowing Belmont a narrow victory.
Cameron Payne led Murray State with 29 points and Jarvis Williams scored 21 with 13 rebounds.