Belmont wins 2013 Ohio Valley Conference basketball tournament: Bruins clinch NCAA bid

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Belmont Bruins are advancing to the NCAA Tournament after knocking off the Murray State Racers in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.

The Belmont Bruins clinched an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament, beating the Murray State Racers 70-68 in overtime to clinch the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship.

Belmont led 22-21 at half, but Murray State caught fire in the second half. The Racers shot 81 percent form the field over the last 25 minutes, including 7 of their 10 shots from behind the arc. Murray State led by as many as 10 in the second half, but Belmont fought their way back into the game. The Bruins forced 26 Racers turnovers, and dominated in the lane, scoring 48 points in the paint.

Murray State clung to a two-point lead with 20 seconds left, but forward Ed Daniel missed two free throws, giving Belmont the chance to tie the game. Bruins guard Kerron Johnson hit a turnaround jumper with nine seconds left on the clock to tie the game. After a lengthy delay to determine the correct time on the clock, Murray State missed a desperate three-point attempt and the game went to overtime.

Both teams traded points in overtime, with neither team able to pull away from the other. Murray State turned the ball over with 25 seconds left, and Johnson responded with another dagger, sinking a clutch shot with 1.2 seconds left in the game to win the game for the Bruins.

J.J. Mann led Belmont with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Johnson finished with 12 points. Stacy Wilson scored 23 points in a losing effort, while Isaiah Canaan added 22.

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