Jacksonville State eliminates top-seeded Belmont 65-59
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Malcolm Drumwright scored 21 points and Greg Tucker added 18 and Belmont upset the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament’s No. 1 seed, the Belmont Bruins, 65-59 Friday night.
Jacksonville State (19-14) plays Tennessee-Martin in the championship game on Saturday for the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Skyhawks beat Murray State 73-67.
It’s the second straight season Belmont (22-6) has earned the top seed and lost in the semifinals. During the regular season, Belmont beat Jacksonville State 77-60 and 66-53. The Bruins finished 15-1 in the OVC’s regular season.
The Gamecocks led 31-30 at halftime and used an 11-3 run to start the second half. Drumwright’s 3 made it 42-33 with 14:58 to go. Dylan Windler’s 3 brought the Bruins to within 52-49 with 8:08 left but they couldn’t get closer.
Norbertas Giga finished with 11 points and seven rebounds for the Gamecocks who shot 25 for 48 (52 percent).
Windler and Evan Bradds each scored 16 points for the Bruins. Belmont struggled from the field to shoot 22 for 60 (37 percent).