Murray St. 79, Belmont 74
MURRAY, Ky. (AP)
Stacy Wilson added 16 points for Murray State (17-5, 8-2), which led in rebounds 32-26 and forced the Bruins into 12 turnovers.
Belmont (19-5, 10-1) shot 51.9 percent (28 of 54) from the floor and 42.9 percent (9 of 21) behind the arc.
Ian Clark led Belmont's scoring with 22.
With 2 minutes to go, the Bruins threatened to overtake the Racers with a 17-7 run, coming as close as three points.
Aggressive steals and plays worked in the Bruins' favor as a 3-pointer by Clark tied the game at 74 with 58 seconds to go before Canaan answered with a 3 of his own.
A Bruins turnover with 25 seconds remaining gave Murray State the ball, and Canaan and Ed Daniel each went to the line and made one of two free throws.
Less than 5 minutes into the game Murray State went on a 14-4 run that began and ended with Wilson layups, pushing the score to 21-12.
After the Bruins garnered a layup and two free throws, the Racers took off again. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Wilson put Murray State on top by 14.
The Racers led 36-26 at the half.
Canaan, who connected on his first 3-pointer 2:45 into the game, extended his school-record streak of games with a made 3-pointer to 31. However, Canaan wasn't Murray State's only 3-point shooter; five of the eight Racers who played made at least one.
Both teams lead their respective divisions in the OVC, with Belmont controlling the East and Murray the West.
The contest marked career game No. 1,000 for Belmont coach Rick Byrd.
The meeting was the first between the teams since 2007, when the Bruins topped the Raiders 84-67.