Belmont beats Jacksonville St. 81-73, takes sole lead in OVC

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Evan Bradds had 18 points on Wednesday night and Belmont took sole possession of first place in the conference after holding off Jacksonville State 81-73.

Amanze Egekeze and Taylor Barnette added 15 points each for the Bruins (18-8, 10-2 Ohio Valley). Belmont used a 10-0 run to lead 76-64 with 2:50 left, and Jacksonville got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

Craig Bradshaw scored 12 for the Bruins, who led 64-45 with 10:49 left after a strong start to the second half. The Gamecocks (8-19, 4-8) rallied to within 66-64 - a 19-2 run over the next 4:32 - but never pulled in front.

Greg Tucker had 19 points and Ed Jones 18 for the Gamecocks. JaQuail Townser scored 14 and Jared Hamilton 13.

Second-place Tennessee Tech (9-3) dropped a game behind Belmont in the standings after an 85-55 loss to Tennessee State (8-3) on Wednesday night.