Northeastern 74, Belmont 71

Joel Smith scored 26 points, and Northeastern erased a 16-point

second-half deficit Friday to beat Belmont 74-71 and advance to the

final of the Great Alaska Shootout.

Smith was 8 of 14 from the field, including 6 of 9 from behind

the arc, for the Huskies (4-1), who took their first lead, 70-68,

on David Walker’s 3-pointer with 58 seconds left. The Bruins (4-1)

had scored 16 unanswered points – 14 of them by Ian Clark – to take

a 55-39 lead with 12:58 to play.

Northeastern outscored Belmont 35-16 the rest of the way, with

Smith hitting four free throws in the final minute to seal the


The Huskies will Saturday against Charlotte, which beat Oral

Roberts 72-58 in the second semifinal. Northeastern also made the

final in 1986, its only other appearance in the tournament.

Clark led the Bruins with 29 points, including a

tournament-record nine 3-pointers.