Egekeze, Bradds power Belmont past Murray State 81-69

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) Amanze Egekeze scored 24 points and Evan Bradds 23 as Belmont turned back Murray State 81-69 in a clash of divisional leaders from the Ohio Valley Conference on Thursday night.

Belmont (17-4), which leads the OVC East at 11-0, now has an NCAA-best nine straight wins on the road. Murray State (12-12) wound up in a three-way tie in the OVC West at 6-4 with UT Martin and Southeast Missouri.

Jonathan Stark tied the game at 54-54 as the Racers capped a comeback from eight points down with a Bryce Jones 3-pointer and Stark’s jump shot wrapped around a Belmont turnover.

But Egekeze blocked Stark’s next try and Bradds got back in the groove, hitting his next three shots.

Bradds was 10-for-16 shooting inside for Belmont, and grabbed 10 rebounds. Egekeze, who drained four 3-pointers, also notched a double-double with 11 rebounds.

Stark finished with 26 points to lead Murray State.